Wright State rewards Nagy for success

WSU men’s basketball coach Scott Nagy. MARC PENDLETON / DDN FILE

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WSU men’s basketball coach Scott Nagy. MARC PENDLETON / DDN FILE

Men’s basketball coach is 87-41 in four seasons with Raiders

Wright State athletic director Bob Grant believes he has a gem in basketball coach Scott Nagy and wants to make sure the school keeps him around for the long haul.

Nagy, who turns 54 in June, originally signed a five-year contract in 2016, but Grant added more years to that deal in 2018 and additional incentives in 2019 without making formal announcements.

Nagy is signed through 2022-23 while keeping his annual salary of $501,250, plus perks.

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“We’ve quietly done things the last few years,” Grant said. “My strategy is I’ll always look to do something every year. We don’t publicize it. But when you have a coach like him — like many of our coaches — we do things proactively, incrementally, to make sure they know how much we appreciate what they’re doing.”

Nagy is 87-41 in his four years, including 21-5 this season. The Raiders won one Horizon League regular-season title and one conference tourney crown in his first three seasons.

He earned bonuses of $41,667 for making the NCAA tourney in 2018 and $20,833 for reaching the NIT last season.

One of the contract amendments included more money for his assistants.

Landing Nagy, who was 410-240 in 21 years at South Dakota State, took more of a financial commitment from Wright State. Previous coach Billy Donlon made $225,000, and his predecessor, Brad Brownell, was paid $385,000.

“Coach Nagy is phenomenal,” Grant said. “The season has gone really great to this point. What I really appreciate is how he handles his business with our players. He’s a dream to have as a basketball coach in every way. He fits into our culture perfectly.”

Grant added: “He was 21 years on 21 one-year contracts at South Dakota State. If he’s here for 21 years, I’d be thrilled.”

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Recognition: The Raiders received a vote in the Associated Press poll for the first time in their history this week. That was good enough to put them in a tie for 39th with Winthrop in the balloting, just behind defending national champion Virginia.

Dave Preston of WTOP Sports in Washington D.C. was the lone media pollster out of 64 to put them in his Top 25.

“I like to acknowledge mid-majors and single-bid leagues in February, especially when they have teams that are playing well,” he said.

The Raiders are having their best season since becoming a Division-I program in 1987-88. Their five losses have come by a combined 17 points, including one in overtime.

They’re fourth in the nation in scoring with an 81.8 average.

“Wright State has won six of seven with four of those victories coming by double-digits, including a 32-point thumping of second-place Northern Kentucky,” Preston pointed out.

“In other words, they’re doing everything asked of a non-power-five school.”

Stopper: The Raiders don't worry much when they face a high-scoring perimeter player. They know sophomore Jaylon Hall will make those hotshots work for everything they get.

Detroit Mercy’s Antoine Davis, who was averaging 23.4 points, scored 28 in the Raiders’ 98-86 win last week, but he was a modest 10 of 24 from the field and 4 of 14 on 3’s.

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Oakland’s Rashad Williams finished with 18 points in Wright State’s 83-71 victory Saturday, but he was 4 of 16 from the floor and 2 of 11 on 3’s.

Williams, a transfer from Cleveland State, led the conference in 3-point shooting last season at 40.8%. In his previous two games, he was a combined 15 of 31 from the arc.

If opposing players have roughly as many field-goal attempts as points, Nagy considers that a success.

“Jaylon is a luxury to have on people like that,” he said.


UIC at Wright State, 9 p.m., ESPN2, 106.5

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