Big-game coaches to earn extra cash; Jones’ ‘bonus’ could come later
ATLANTA » LSU football coach Les Miles kept on winning long after Georgia Dome workers swept up the confetti from the Tigers' SEC championship game celebration Dec. 1.
Miles won when Auburn gave Tommy Tuberville a $200,000 raise to $2.8 million for 2008. Miles won again when Bobby Petrino fled the Atlanta Falcons to accept a $2.85 million a year deal from Arkansas.
The more they got, the more Miles got.
That's because his contract assures him that in the season after Miles wins an SEC title he will make at least as much money as the third-best-paid coach in the conference. (Alabama's Nick Saban and Florida's Urban Meyer remain Nos. 1 and 2.)
Miles' biggest payday, though, might still be two weeks away.
An LSU victory over Ohio State in the Bowl Championship Series national championship game on Jan. 7 would bump Miles' salary up at least another $530,000.
The key clause in his contract: "In any given year, effective after the 2007 football season and each football season thereafter, if the football team wins the National Championship (as recognized by the Bowl Championship Series), the total annual compensation shall be adjusted to be no less than the third highest salary within NCAA Division I intercollegiate football."
That's no worse than the $3.384 million a year paid to Meyer, according to a USA Today study of coaches' salaries. (The nation's third-highest college football coaching salary might be even more than that; private schools such as Notre Dame aren't required to disclose details of their coaches' compensation.)
Miles has more guaranteed cash riding on the outcome of a BCS bowl game than any other coach, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of coaches' contracts.
Even if he loses the game, Miles won't walk away from this postseason empty-handed. Not only would his salary climb by more than $1 million, from $1.8 million to $2.85 million, but he would also receive a bonus of $400,000 for winning the SEC West, appearing in the SEC championship game and earning a berth in the national championship game.
Here is a quick look at what other BCS bowl coaches will receive:
» June Jones, Hawaii: Technically, Jones has no bonus money at stake in the Sugar Bowl. He gets $50,000 for participating in a BCS game, win or lose. But there's no question an upset of Georgia would enhance Jones' bargaining position for his next contract. His current deal, which paid him $800,000 in 2007, expires in June.
» Jim Tressel, Ohio State: The money at stake when the Buckeyes play the Tigers on Jan. 7 isn't specified, but it's presumably substantial. A clause in Tressel's contract provides that if and when his team wins a BCS national championship, Ohio State and Tressel will negotiate a new contract. His current one brought him $2.4 million in 2007, not including a $200,000 pool of bonus money for Tressel and his staff.
» Mark Richt, Georgia: Richt doesn't get any additional cash simply for winning the Sugar Bowl, but he probably needs a victory to pocket the $50,000 bonus he gets for a top-five finish in the Associated Press poll or the USA Today poll. The Bulldogs currently rank fourth in both. Richt already has earned a $75,000 bonus for reaching a BCS bowl.
When LSU and Oklahoma hurdled Georgia in the final BCS standings, Richt lost a chance to earn even more money. His contract calls for him to get $150,000 for winning a national championship.
» Bob Stoops, Oklahoma: Stoops makes the most among college football coaches whose contracts are public record. In addition to his $3.6 million yearly pay, Stoops collects $100,000 for being in a BCS bowl, plus $75,000 for a top-10 finish in the final BCS standings. There's no cash at stake for him in the Fiesta Bowl against West Virginia.
» Bill Stewart, West Virginia: Stewart is an interim head coach. Former coach Rich Rodriguez has started working for Michigan and won't lead the Mountaineers in the Fiesta Bowl.
» Mark Mangino, Kansas: Mangino gets $50,000 for coaching the Jayhawks in the Orange Bowl. He gets nothing extra if they win. That might seem a bit strange, considering his contract gives him $10,000 extra for a sixth regular-season victory, $20,000 for a seventh, $30,000 for an eighth and so forth up to $60,000 for an 11th. Those pay-per-victory incentives added up to $210,000 this season, with Kansas going 11-1.
» Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech: Beamer gets $75,000 for appearing in the Orange Bowl, plus a $40,000 "entertainment fee" for his staff. He doesn't get anything extra if Virginia Tech wins the game.
» Ron Zook, Illinois: Zook gets an 8 percent bonus for appearing in a Jan. 1 bowl game without winning a Big Ten championship. Had he won the Big Ten he'd be getting a 13 percent bonus. Illinois raised his salary seven games into the season to $1.5 million a year.
» Pete Carroll, USC: Carroll's contract is not public record because USC is a private university. USA Today published a salary figure of about $2.8 million, obtained from USC's Internal Revenue Service filing. Bonus information is unavailable.