Bobby Purcell Makes 80k More Than Closest ACC Counterpart

1. Bobby Purcell, NC State $344,013
2. Andy Miller, Fla. State $268,752
3. John Montgomery, UNC $245,923
4. Dirk Kastra, UVA $203,750
5. Jack Thompson, GA Tech $159,625
6. Bill D’Andrea, Clemson $153,000
Triangle Business Journal

Leaders of college athletics booster clubs are used to watching their sports teams perform under pressure.

But now it’s those highly paid fundraisers who are having to execute their own financial game plans in a tough economic environment to show they’re worth the big-time compensation they get.

“Returns are expected,” says John Montgomery, the executive director at the Rams Club, which raises money for athletics programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We should feel pressure to perform.”

Montgomery received compensation valued at $245,923 in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008, according to the Rams Club’s tax returns. Included in his compensation is his base salary of $215,000.
Since that tax return was filed, Montgomery says his base salary has increased to $223,000.

The Rams Club has 22 employees, most of them full-time, and about 16,000 donors. The organization generated more than $27 million in revenue in fiscal 2008, but that declined to $24 million in fiscal 2009. Montgomery says the decrease was a reflection of the economy.
Compensation levels vary greatly from school to school, depending on the leaders’ length of service and duties – some focus primarily on fundraising, while others also oversee a number of different external athletics-relations activities. But tax returns and interviews reveal that those officials generally are well compensated.
Leader of the pack

    The envy of the Atlantic Coast Conference may be Bobby Purcell, the executive director of North Carolina State University’s Wolfpack Club. Unlike some ACC rivals, the Wolfpack hasn’t claimed a national title – or even a conference title – in either men’s basketball or football in more than two decades. But Purcell has still managed to build an organization with 20,000 members

. The club, which has 21 full- and part-time employees, generated $25.8 million in revenue in fiscal 2008.
Purcell, a 54-year-old Clinton native, says he is paid an annual salary of $251,000. But he also can receive bonuses and perks, such as a membership at the State Club. The Wolfpack Club’s tax return for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, shows that Purcell received compensation worth $344,013, as well as employee benefits and deferred compensation plan contributions valued at $47,456.

Purcell has closed capital campaigns that resulted in bonuses in recent years, and he’s been heavily involved in major facilities projects at the school. Purcell’s prowess earned him a national fundraising award a couple of years ago, notes Randy Ramsey, chair of the Wolfpack Club board’s personnel committee.

“In my mind, that’s even further evidence that we’ve got the best guy in the business,” Ramsey says.

While the 2009 tax returns haven’t been filed yet, Purcell says the organization brought in revenue similar to what it generated in fiscal 2008. But that doesn’t mean his pack of fundraisers aren’t feeling the economic pinch. “We’ve had a lot of major donors say, ‘I can’t make my full gift this year,’” he says.

The money raised by booster organizations across the ACC pays for the scholarships and facilities that schools use to attract talented athletes and funds endowments designed to ensure the long-term health of athletics programs. Booster club leaders also act as liaisons between the fans and athletics departments.

“They’re crucially important, first because of the job they do raising large amounts of money,” says David Glenn, longtime editor of the ACC Sports Journal. “It’s an important but little known role in the big money world of college sports.”

Seminole Boosters Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Miller received compensation worth $268,752 and employee benefits and deferred compensation plan contributions totaling $52,940, according to tax documents for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008. Seminole Boosters has about 15,000 members and about $43 million in annual revenue.

Tax documents show that Virginia Athletics Foundation Executive Director Dirk Katstra received compensation worth $203,750. “That’s everything rolled up,” says Katstra, who explains that the amount includes everything from his salary to the value of tickets he receives to the value of his courtesy car.

Katstra’s benefit plan contribution totaled $26,246, and he also had a $4,000 expense account. His booster group has 20 employees and nearly 10,000 donors.

Some booster organizations don’t file individual tax returns because they’re part of their schools. That’s especially true at private schools, and officials at Duke University and Wake Forest University declined to discuss their salaries in interviews.

Tax returns for the two universities do list the five highest paid employees, and neither lists the athletics booster club’s president. At Duke, the fifth highest paid employee had a compensation package worth $523,516. At Wake Forest, the fifth highest paid employee made $397,657.

Cook Griffin, the executive director of Wake Forest’s Deacon Club, did say that he doesn’t make as much as Purcell. “If I made that kind of money, (men’s basketball coach) Dino Gaudio would be borrowing money from me,” he says.

Jack Winters, an assistant director of athletics at Duke, has seen an impact in fundraising this year due to the economy. He says that after the first quarter of this fiscal year, the Iron Dukes’ annual fund is about $1 million behind where it was a year ago.

The annual fund brought in $12.6 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009. That amount doesn’t include donations for capital projects and endowments.

“There’s no doubt we will be working extremely hard to break even with what we did last year,” Winters says.

Lu Merritt, who runs the Hokie Club at Virginia Tech, receives an annual salary of $128,500. Bill D’Andrea at Clemson University’s IPTAY club has a salary of $153,000. Jack Thompson at Georgia Tech’s Alexander-Tharpe Fund has a salary of $159,625.

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24 Responses to Bobby Purcell Makes 80k More Than Closest ACC Counterpart

  1. BJD95 10/20/2009 at 9:43 AM #

    It will be a smaller pinch, but I get the feeling alot of small-to-midrange donors are getting ready to say “the hell with the Wolfpack Club.”

  2. kvn0456 10/20/2009 at 9:43 AM #

    Yeah…and what have we gotten from it? Absolutely nothing. Such a shame all this money can’t translate to winning seasons and championships. The line: “Unlike some ACC rivals, the Wolfpack hasn’t claimed a national title – or even a conference title – in either men’s basketball or football in more than two decades. But Purcell has still managed to build an organization with 20,000 members” says it all for me. It is the equivalent of investing in a bad company every year that continually loses money, but yet you say to yourself: “Well…maybe THIS will be the year…”

  3. StateFans 10/20/2009 at 9:46 AM #

    When you hand pick your own board you can make as much money as you want

  4. coppertop 10/20/2009 at 9:53 AM #

    I’m actually ok with Bobby purcell. He gets paid so well to make up for what our atheletics department can’t deliver. I’d even go so far as to say that the wolfpack club is the best run organization associated with NC STATE, including, and especially the university itself.

  5. StateFans 10/20/2009 at 9:55 AM #

    ^Why because of the generosity of our fan base?

  6. Classof89 10/20/2009 at 9:56 AM #

    I’d agree he’s worth that salary–no other fundraiser in the ACC has a less attractive product to sell.

    I mean, how hard is it to be the fundraiser at UNC? It basically consists of opening the mail every day and cashing the checks from fans desperate to get a piece of the action on the most iconic basketball program east of Lexington Kentucky.

    The attendence at our basketball kickoff event last week speaks volumes as to the task that faces Purcell. Just wait until the time comes to re-up for PSL’s in the RBC Center at today’s going rate. I can see the day coming in the next 5-10 years where the lower bowl is 75% empty.

  7. Rick 10/20/2009 at 9:59 AM #

    I cannot believe he can get anyone to give money to the goat rodeo that is our athletic department.

  8. ryebread 10/20/2009 at 10:32 AM #

    The man should be paid the highest in the ACC. He more than ANY other person in his position in the conference is doing less with more. We’ve not turned out a conference winner in either of the revenue sports in 20 years (and they’re called revenue sports because they bring in the revenue). We have LF as our AD and a culture of mediocrity. The fact that he can sell that vision (which is what the head of the booster club does) tells me that he can sell refrigerators to Eskimos.

    It also tells me (yet again) that we have the most patient fans in the ACC. Media types, please take note of this before you bash us with yet another “they run off coaches” or “they have ridiculous expectations” article. We fill the seats, we give the $$$, we’re not bandwagon and we’re loyal to a fault.

    For those belly-aching on the thread about gifts to the Wolfpack Club not getting you anywhere, think about that the next time you sit in freshly renovated Carter-Finley, the RBC or Dail Park. Those environments are exactly what the giving has created — capital funding projects. You’re clearly seeing a return there.

    What you’re upset about is the fact that those facilities haven’t generated wins on the field. For that, I blame LF. He’s not created an environment to capitalize on those investments, despite the fact that he tries to take credit for building them. Ironic huh?

    I’d venture to guess that if LF were fired, giving to the Wolfpack Club would actually immediately increase. Winning surely would which would also generate more revenue. It takes a good man in Purcell if he’s not trying to get LF fired at every turn.

    If there’s one guy involved with NC State who is doing things right, I think it is Purcell. Lay off of him.

  9. 61Packer 10/20/2009 at 10:36 AM #

    Anyone who can sell modern-day Wolfpack athletics as well as Purcell does could probably have sold road maps to Marco Polo.

    Why not put this expertise in the NC State athletics’ AD chair?

    Nice thought, but the coffee break’s over. Back to reality- back on your heads.

  10. packplantpath 10/20/2009 at 10:39 AM #

    Purcell is the Billy Mays of athletic boosters. We are all convinced we are buying high quality Egyptian cotton sheets with high thread count, and we receive a sham wow.

    Or to use a southpark analogy.

    Step 1. Run a large athletic booster club.
    Step 2. ???????
    Step 3. Profit

    Purcell figured out step 2.

  11. redcoatrevival 10/20/2009 at 10:50 AM #

    Ryebread makes a strong case for Purcell doing more with less and giving fans a return on capital investment projects. But then there’s a logical fallacy:

    “It takes a good man in Purcell if he’s not trying to get LF fired at every turn.”

    If you were the most highly compensated executive director in the ACC and exceeding all fundraising expectations, why would you challenge the status quo?

  12. ryebread 10/20/2009 at 11:39 AM #

    redcoatrevival: I don’t know Purcell personally and am not involved at that level. Maybe he is doing so for all I know. It’s just not seen publicly. If he’s doing it in private where we don’t see it, then he’s doing it the right way.

    He’s not out there stirring up masses, which would be bad for business. If people somehow thought impacted giving to the WPC on a widespread basis would somehow correlate to LF getting canned, then they’d probably do it. If Purcell were working angles on LF publicly, then I’m guessing this is how it’d play out.

    Eventually even our administration will have to recognize that LF stinks. The WPC did what was asked of them. They’ve raised money for capital investments. They’ve led projects to get them built on time. They have a massive booster club. They’ve held up their end of the bargain, now where are the wins?

    Again, another example of how he’s doing his job the right way. He’s either lobbying offline and out of our eyes or he’s ultimately allowing LF’s incompetence to shine through. Either way he’s doing his job (raising the cash) very well during a tough time with virtually no product to sell.

    There’s a lot of stuff to be negative about when it comes to NC State sports. The WPC isn’t one of them from what I can tell.

  13. Alpha Wolf 10/20/2009 at 11:47 AM #

    Bobby Purcell has done one helluva job, and he deserves every credit for it. We would NOT have the facilities that we have today were it not for Purcell, and it is he that deserves the most credit for everything good that the Pack has built.

    Not Chuck, not Fowler, but Purcell was the guy who helped put the rubber to the road and got stuff that needed doing done.

    If only there was equal competence in all offices in Brown-Weiseger.

  14. Daily Update 10/20/2009 at 12:54 PM #

    That really seems out of line IMO. WTF?

    If you look at salaries at NC State compared to other ACC schools, then our ADs and coaches are near the bottom of the conference. Except for Bobby Purcell who makes almost 30% more than the 2nd highest paid peer in the conference?

    Just doesn’t make sense.

  15. redcoatrevival 10/20/2009 at 1:40 PM #

    Hey Rye, I actually agree with you for the most part, especially your observation that “[t]hey’ve held up their end of the bargain, now where are the wins?” I just thought I’d point out that Purcell likely isn’t motivated to rock the boat–publically or behind the scenes.

  16. ryebread 10/20/2009 at 1:50 PM #

    redcoatrevival: My guess is that Purcell would be very motivated to rock that boat behind the scenes. If he’s out for the cash, then he’ll make more if we actually win. It’s got to be tough for him to sell the current loser.

    We all know (and he surely knows) that LF is a key reason that we don’t win more. The faster he gets LF out, the faster we get a competent AD in his place and start instilling a culture where we actually have expectations around W/L records. This will only help him sell and ultimately help his bonus.

    If you’ve been around sales people in a large corporation, you’ll see what I’m talking about. A sales guy would throw his own mother under the bus to get more commission.

    I’m impressed with how Purcell is managing the situation. If he’s working behind the scenes to get LF out, then the dirty laundry isn’t getting aired (which is extremely rare for us). If he’s making it painfully obvious how bad LF is and thus letting the lunatic fringe apply the pressure, then he’s doing a darn good job. Either way, he’s keeping the $$$ rolling in (which is his primary job).

  17. GAWolf 10/20/2009 at 1:59 PM #

    I saw this in the TBJ and I was shocked at the compensation package he receives. It didn’t dishearten me to learn the amount, that is except for the fact that it made me realize that BP becoming our AD would likely mean a pay cut for him and thus is not likely to ever happen.

  18. Hot Sauce 10/20/2009 at 2:17 PM #

    The man deserves the salary. Its just a shame that the athletics programs don’t reflect the effort the WPC puts into it.

  19. Clarksa 10/20/2009 at 4:30 PM #

    I have no problems with this…he is selling a crappy product.

  20. Rick 10/20/2009 at 4:54 PM #

    It seems Purcell could sell water to a downing man.

  21. wolfpackdawg 10/20/2009 at 5:29 PM #

    Purcell + Pig Farmer’s = Fuh-Cil-atee’s

  22. Master 10/20/2009 at 9:18 PM #

    I write my check to the WolfPack Club because I love the University and desire to support the athletes that play for my school. At no time do I think giving more or less guarantees or hurts our ability to win championships. For me it’s like paying my kids’ tuition or renovating the house. Thus, I don’t feel cheated at the end of any season and I sure as hell would not come here and whine about what my money does or doesn’t get me. That’s just low class (which is what our rivals say about us.)

    Purcell does a great job promoting NCSU, deserves every penny he makes and should be honored appropriately with the salary he earns every day of the year. Salary envy is what socialist are good at.

    What else can we find to bitch about tonight?

  23. Bubba 10/21/2009 at 8:30 AM #

    No way BP ever leaves that much money to become AD.

  24. national1 10/30/2009 at 2:10 PM #

    Will someone answer this question? How does NC State rank in terms of cost of a season football ticket vs other programs in the country? I have to guess we are on par with the Ohio State’s and Texas’s of the world. Let me break this down: 2 season tickets to NCSU football: $650, plus lifetime rights fees of $500, plus parking $160, plus the added requirement to be in the wolfpack club to do all this $300= $1610 for 2 tickets to college football? Season tickets to Duke Football: $50. ($50 YES YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY!!) I am sick and tired of giving NCSU my hard earned money. I would like to know how much other schools charge for their season tickets. I know STATE is 16X more expensive that Duke. Roughly 8X more expensive than ECU. What about other schools in the country? How much are UNC Tix?

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