Pasco County school district leaders have reached a preliminary agreement with the teachers union for an increase in athletic and academic supplements, county athletic director Matt Wicks said.
The two sides agreed Monday on a package that totals $1.3 million. An email was sent to employees about the news.
“It’s something I’ve been fighting for years,” Wicks said.
Details still need to be finalized, but the increase could not only raise supplement pay but also add positions with supplements. For example, Wicks said this would potentially allow schools to add a girls wrestling head coach and an assistant weightlifting coach, two paid positions the county currently does not have.
Supplement raises likely will be based on a tier system with sports such as football and cheerleading getting more because of the length of their seasons.
Currently, head football coaches in Pasco County receive about $4,300 in yearly supplemental pay, which is divided among the fall and the spring. Wicks said the raise could bring that total to more than $5,000, which would be among the highest in the Tampa Bay area.
“This is a positive step in the right direction,’’ said Mitchell’s Andy Schmitz, currently the only football coach in Pasco who has been at the same school for at least 10 years. “It’s a good show of faith by the county.”
Seven of the county’s 14 public school football programs have gone through at least one coaching change in the last two years.
River Ridge’s Greg Miller and Pasco’s Alphonso Freeney, each left after their first year this offseason for out-of-state jobs, where the pay was significantly more.
“We want quality coaches to keep coming to Pasco County,” Wicks said. We also want to keep them here.”