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Buyouts in the Pac-10
What if a coach is axed or axes to leave?
By: Malamute, February 3, 2004

Interested in some buyout numbers, I did some googling around the Pac-10 and found these particulars. For one, John Mackovic, former coach at Texas and Arizona, has made a heck of a living thanks to terminations and buyouts. Does it pay for a coach to be incompetent and honest, rather than be competent and dishonest? Is a coach who is both competent and honest an oxymoron? What about coaches who are caught inflagrante delicto--for just plain being “shagadelic, baby”?

-- Bill Doba (WSU)

Doba is to be paid the remainder of base salary ($155,000 per year) if he’s terminated without cause. If the coach leaves for another position, there's a $50,000 buyout. His contract calls for car and housing, plus $50,000 deferred compensation and $40,000 retention bonus. He gets an upgrade to first class for business travel and 2 priority parking passes in front of the barn on football Saturdays. His wife and two other individuals who travel can stay with the team on road games. He gets six sideline passes for games held on the North 40. [Fish].

-- Keith Gilbertson (UW)

-- Contract can be terminated without cause after the first two years. No buyouts, either way, if he should be hung in effigy or should voluntarily get out of Dodge without a rope around his neck. Who's knocking on the door or is that the wind?

Rick Neuheisel’s renegotiated contract called for a $600,000 buyout if he'd left before being ratted out.  

Gilbertson’s base salary is $420,000 and he gets $210,000 for TV, radio, and personal services. His membership in the Bear Tree Country Club is paid for. He receives $50,000 for Husky Fever PR appearances and receives a $50,000 annual contribution to an investment fund. Travel to away games for his spouse are provided, plus $20,000 for annual family travel expenses.

Total university compensation is $296,400. [Fish]

-- Mike Riley (OSU)

Coach pays $1 million for terminating contract prior to Jan 31, 2007; $750,000 before Jan. 31, 2009; and $500,000 in the final year. School pays remainder of due base salary for firing without cause. Base salary is $200,000, escalating by $50,000 per year to $525,000 in 2010. Total compensation is $500 thousand to $1 million. [Fish].

-- Mike Bellotti (Oregon)

Base salary is $150,000 (as of 1999). He can be compensated for by as much as 8% of the gross receipts for reserved tickets. Bellotti's annual salary is $650,000, with incentives that could push the total to $1.1 million.

A $600,000 buyout awaits Bellotti if he’s fired without cause. He must pay $150,000 to the university if he resigns. There is a morals clause in his contract. [Fish].

Rumor has it that AD Bill Moos is looking to fire Bellotti because he tore off the morals chit in his contract to claim a "moral victory" in the Sun Bowl. He'll be replaced with no-buyout Gilbertson, who comes cheap, while Moos goes to Washington as AD thanks to a gushy résumé written by Blaine Newnham.

-- Jack Tedord (CAL)

To keep Tedford, there is a $1 million buyout in his contract. He pays if he leaves or the team hiring him will. 

But the buyout has a kicker. If Cal squelches on a promise to Tedford — to upgrade Memorial Stadium and its ancillary facilities — by the end of next season, then the "buyout is drastically reduced." [Newnham].

-- Mike Stoops (CasabaU)

If Mike stoops (argh) so low as to leave UA, it won't cost him much. He must pay the university $50,000 in damages if he leaves.

John Mackovic, who was fired on Sept. 28, will be paid a buyout of $1 million over the next four years. When Mackovic interviewed at Washington for the UW job in 1999 after Jim Lambright was fired, he was in the middle of receiving a $1.8 million buyout from Texas after being dismissed there. Arizona just finished the last of three $200,000 payments to ex-coach Dick Tomey.

Even Mackovic (photo above) was obligated to pay $100,000 if he left on his own accord.

-- Dirk Koetter (ASU)

Koetter is liable for $750,000 if he bails and accepts a college or pro coaching position within a year of his exit.

-- Pete Carroll (USC)

Pete Carroll’s contract is reportedly $1.2 million. The details of the contract have not been disclosed.

-- Karl Dorrell (UCLA)

Dorrell's contract is reportedly $650,000 per year. The devil's in the details, which are not available. However, Dorrell recently declined a one-year extension to his contract because, as he said, his team didn't do that well in his first year, losing its last 5 games.

-- Buddy Teevens (Tree)

Details of the contract are not available, but the compensation package is thought to be near to that of former coach Tyrone Willingham, estimated at $750,000-$800,000 per year. Teevens was signed to a five-year contract.


This article was partly sourced from:

[Fish]. Fish, Mike, "Coaching Contracts," SI.com, 23 December 2003.

[Newnham]. Newnham, Blaine, "Cal's blessing may be curse if Tedford leaves," The Seattle Times, 13 November 2003.

Richard Linde (a.k.a., Malamute) can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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