Tony Ingle has agreed with Dalton State College on a contract to become the school’s head men’s basketball coach.
Ingle will be paid $31,850 annually. His contracted salary is actually $65,000, but the school only has to pay — and Ingle only receives — 49 percent of that amount because of his status as a retired employee of the state of Georgia.
Ingle was introduced as coach Thursday at an on-campus press conference. The Dalton native and North Whitfield High graduate played at what was then known as Dalton Junior College in the 1970s under coach Melvyn Ottinger. Ingle coached Kennesaw State University to a 2004 NCAA Division II national championship.
He is the Roadrunners’ first coach since the men’s basketball program folded 34 years ago. The school expects to begin competition in the NAIA during the 2013-14 season for men’s basketball and a handful of other sports.
Dalton State athletic director Derek Waugh said Ingle’s salary is on par with other head coaches at similar-sized schools in the NAIA. Waugh’s salary is $87,500. The only other current athletic department staff member, senior associate athletic director Richard Skeel, has a $79,000 salary.
Ingle, 60, is a retiree of the state’s public education system and receives a pension from the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia, which oversees public schools and many employees in the University System of Georgia. Within the state, he has coached at Kennesaw State for 11 years (2000-2011), Gordon Junior College for three years (1985-1988), Southeast Whitfield High from 1977-1978 and Northwest Whitfield High before then.
An employee that retires with the state cannot come back to work full time in the state system, which is why Ingle’s pay cannot exceed 49 percent of the agreed salary. In addition, Dalton State will not have to cover Ingle’s benefits.
According to the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia website (trsga.com), “All compensation whether on an hourly or salaried basis cannot exceed 49 (percent) of the compensation that would normally be paid to you if you worked on a full-time basis in the position.”
Waugh said the reduced expenses for Dalton State did not factor into the decision.
“Anyone who thinks we may have hired coach Ingle to save some money has no idea what we’re trying to get done with our athletic department,” he said.
Since it is a one-year deal, there is no buyout clause, Waugh said. He added that DSC only could offer Ingle a one-year contract without certain other conditions being met.
“You can have a contract in the state of Georgia, but they’re all one-year deals,” Waugh said. “You can’t have a contract (more than one year) in the state of Georgia unless 51 percent is paid by a private source.”
Ingle was one of four finalists for the position. The other three finalists who visited the campus for interviews were former University of Tennessee-Chattanooga head coach Henry Dickerson; former Georgia Southern University assistant coach Carl Nash; and former Winthrop Uni-versity head coach Randy Peele.
Ingle said he plans to relocate to the Dalton area soon. He also has to work on getting an office and getting settled since he and the Roadrunners are “starting from scratch.”
“Right now it’s just I’ve got to assess everything and talk to Derek on some budget things,” Ingle said. “The three things I want to concentrate on right now is: get settled in, recruit and schedule. Those are the three things I’m concentrating on right now and at the same time try to build some excitement and enthusiasm and paint the vision for people in Dalton.”