ETSU athletics announces change to Forbes’ contract
ETSU athletics announces change to Forbes’ contract
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 1, 2017) – With the ETSU men’s basketball team winning its first regular season conference championship since the 2006-07 season and having won more league games than any other team in the Southern Conference over the last two seasons, the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced Wednesday that it is rewarding head coach Steve Forbes with a contract enhancement.            

Forbes will receive a “retention bonus” on July 1, 2017 of $150,000. In addition, as long as Forbes remains at ETSU, the contract change calls for on-going retention bonuses of $175,000 on July 1, 2018, and of $200,000 on both July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020. The length of Forbes’ current contract remains unchanged, a deal that currently extends to the end of the 2019-2020 season.

“In the highly competitive world of Division I college basketball, it is not easy to find the right coach. When you do, you want to do what you can to keep them,” said ETSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Richard Sander. “This retention bonus is our way of showing our commitment to not only Coach Forbes, but also our commitment to our men’s basketball program and our fan base. We believe in Excellence Every Day, and to reach that goal we understand the need to retain successful coaches. In his two years here, Coach Forbes quickly met that standard and more.”

Forbes said he is proud to be the head coach at ETSU and appreciates the support he and his team have received since being hired in the spring of 2015.         

“I thoroughly enjoy coming to work each and every day,” Forbes said. “I value the personal relationships I have with my co-workers and our administration. The commitment and loyalty that Dr. Brian Noland, Dr. Sander, and Scott Carter have shown me since my first day on the job has been unwavering and our community has wrapped its arms around our program.”

Forbes said the timing of conversations about his future at ETSU also left him humbled.

“It meant the world to me that Dr. Sander approached me before the Tennessee game back in December about all of this,” Forbes said. “We were able to finalize the details in early February and I left that meeting feeling very fortunate to be the head basketball coach at ETSU. I’m so appreciative of the opportunity I’ve been given and I look forward to leading our program now and in the future.”

Forbes and the Bucs begin play in the SoCon Tournament on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. versus Mercer at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C. The team advanced to the championship game of the event last year and are considered a contender for the title again this season.

Some other highlights for the Bucs over the last two years includes:

  • Back-to-back, 24-win campaigns
  • Wins over ACC’s Georgia Tech and SEC’s Mississippi State
  • 14th postseason trip in school history – NCAAs (9), NIT (2), CIT (2), Vegas 16 (1)
  • 18th 20-win season in program history
  • SoCon leader in attendance and ticket revenue

For more on ETSU men's basketball throughout the 2016-17 postseason, visit and click on the men's hoops link.