Jaguar Nation’s balanced checkbook

By Tim Howard and Santiago Rodriguez | Staff Writers

Dip and Heather Metress are well-known among the Augusta University community for different reasons, despite holding very different jobs.

What may not be as widely known is that the wife makes more money than her husband.

As the men’s head basketball coach, Dip Metress leads one of the premier basketball programs in the NCAA Division II’s Peach Belt Conference, in which AU competes.

AU head coach Dip Metress shows his displeasure with a referee’s call during a Feb. 6 game against Armstrong State. (Photo: Tim Howard)
AU head coach Dip Metress shows his displeasure with a referee’s call during a Feb. 6 game against Armstrong State. (Photo: Tim Howard)

Under his leadership, the program has won four PBC regular season championships, two PBC tournament championships, and made seven appearances in the NCAA Division II tournament, including three consecutive Division II Elite Eight appearances from 2008 to 2010.

Heather Metress holds the position of registrar at AU, and while her position may not receive the same amount of recognition as a basketball coach, she works with more students than her husband does.

Unlike her husband, she doesn’t prowl the sidelines at opposing arenas or yell out commands during early-morning practices at Christenberry Fieldhouse.

Her workplace is a quiet office inside of Rains Hall, slightly tucked away from the academic buildings and the JSAC.

But the work she does in that office impacts thousands of students each and every day.

AU Department of Communications chair Rick Kenney has referred to her as a miracle worker, due to her dedication to her job as well as to the students.

In 2015, Heather Metress made $95,000.04, a 66 percent increase from her 2010 salary of $57,063.25, when she was registrar at the Medical College of Georgia prior to its 2013 merger with Augusta State University.

Meanwhile, Dip Metress made $82,400.04 in 2015, an increase of just over $4,000 from his 2010 salary, which places him near the top of Georgia-based men’s basketball coaches in the Peach Belt Conference, according to open.georgia.gov.

Last year, Michael McGrath, head tennis coach for AU’s men’s and women’s tennis programs, made $42,744.96, or just more than half of Metress’ salary for the same year.

However, his salary has increased more than 44 percent since 2010, when he made $29,653.51.

Unlike Metress and several other AU coaches, McGrath is head of two programs, which means he has additional responsibilities.

AU sports information director Taylor Lamb said that McGrath’s job can be more difficult because he has to deal with two teams instead of one.

“[You’ve] got to be on your budget, know what you have to work with, for uniforms, travel, recruitment, everything,” Lamb said. “So when you’re handling multiple athletes, multiple teams, it only makes it more difficult, and it makes you have to be more responsible.”

Metress complimented McGrath, who he described as a “mystery guy” that many people may not be able to see.

“What he [McGrath] has done with this tennis program is phenomenal,” Metress said. “They always seem to make the NCAA tournament, they’re all graduating.”

It would be very difficult for every head coach at AU to make the same salary, just as it would be difficult for every professor at AU to make the same salary.

Perhaps these salaries are too low considering the many responsibilities a coach must manage, or are too high when factoring in the help provided by a coach’s assistant.

And if the university one day makes the leap to the NCAA’s Division I, those salaries will likely go up.

Lamb says that McGrath’s 18 years at AU have given him the experience necessary to properly do his job.

“His graduation rate is obviously always exceptional, he graduates everybody, and we’re usually ranked in the top 50 in the nation, as we are currently,” Lamb said. “He does a great job with minimal staff covering two teams.”

Contact Tim Howard at thowar20@gru.edu. Contact Santiago Rodriguez at srodrig1@gru.edu.

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