Charlie Strong’s contract by the numbers

Drew Lieberman

Monday morning the UT System Board of Regents approved the contract and compensation package for head football coach Charlie Strong.

Strong’s deal starts at an annual base salary of $5 million per season, and will increase by $100,000 annually starting in his second season. 

His contract also includes a payment for his $4.375 million buyout from Louisville; the first time Texas has paid a buyout in program history. 

In total, UT will spend a guaranteed $9.375 million on Strong in 2014, which ranks among the most a university has paid for a coach in a single season. If UT terminates his contract during the five years without cause, he will receive 100 percent of his remaining salary, as long as he does not find other employment. Including the buyout, his deal is for five years and worth at least $29.375 million. In comparison, Nick Saban received a $32 million guaranteed deal from Alabama when he signed an eight-year contract in 2007.

Strong’s contract also includes academic and on-field performance bonuses. Over the year, if his team maintains a GPA of a 2.90-2.99, he will receive $25,000; 3.00-3.09 and he will receive $50,000, and $75,000 if the team maintains a GPA of 3.1 or higher. If the football team finishes with an Academic Progression Rate in the top 10th percentile, he will receive an additional $75,000.

If the Longhorns win the Big 12, he will make $100,000. For an appearance in a bowl game outside a major six-bowl, Strong will earn $25,000, while a victory earns an additional $25,000. 

If Texas appears in a major six-bowl, he will receive $50,000 and $50,000 more with a victory. Playing in the national title game earns Strong $100,000, plus an additional $250,000 if he wins.

If he wins National Coach of the Year he will earn $100,000, and he would make $50,000 for winning any other Coach of the Year honor.

Finally, a Top-10 finish means a bonus of 2 percent of his annual salary for the next season, while a Top-5 finish earns him 3 percent of his salary.

This deal dwarfs the contract Mack Brown signed in his first season in 1998, which earned him $750,000 in his first year. Brown did not break the $5 million mark until 2009, his 12th season as the Longhorns’ coach.

Strong is one of three coaches who will receive an annual salary of at least $5 million for the 2014 season. Had Brown stayed at Texas, he would have made $5.5 million.

Texas football made $109 million in revenue in 2013 and has been the most valuable program in the nation since 2009. This revenue is used to pay coaches’ salaries and other athletic expenses, instead of taxes.

Strong went 37-16 in four years at Louisville, posting a 23-3 over the past two seasons.