Judge orders coach orders former coach to pay KSU $1.2 million

Photo courtesy of Kent State University.

Photo courtesy of Kent State University.

Rex Santus

Portage County Judge John Enlow has delivered a final judgment — $1.2 million — against former Kent State basketball coach Geno Ford, according to court records.

In July, Kent State won the lawsuit against Ford, who left the university to coach men’s basketball at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., but this is the “final appealable order,” said David Ochmann, deputy general counsel at Kent State.

“You can’t appeal anything until it becomes a final appealable order,” Ochmann said. “If Ford wants to appeal, he can appeal.”

Ford was not permitted to end his contract in 2011 with Kent State, according to the earlier court decision. Ford renewed his contract in 2010 for five additional years. He earned $300,000 per year at Kent State and led the Flashes to two consecutive MAC titles.

Ochmann, who had not seen the final judgment entry, said he has “no idea” if Ford will appeal. The Peoria Journal Star reported that the coach was “expected to appeal the decision.”

Two phone calls to Ford’s attorney Fritz Byers were not returned.

Enlow’s judgment follows Kent State’s decision two weeks ago to drop a separate lawsuit against Bradley over Geno Ford’s hiring.

“I don’t have any additional information as to why” Kent State dropped its lawsuit, said Eric Mansfield, a university spokesman.

Contact Rex Santus at [email protected].