Petersen Gets Record Deal For Washington Football; Fisher, Malzahn Land Extensions
Washington football coach Chris Petersen will be "the highest-paid coach in school history, as well as the highest-paid public employee in the state," according to Christian Caple of the Tacoma NEWS-TRIBUNE. Although the "official, finalized contract won't be available for a few more weeks," the details of his five-year deal yesterday were "distributed to reporters." Petersen's annual guaranteed compensation will increase throughout the deal, from $3.2M for the '14 season to $4M for the '18 season. Incentives in the deal include $100,000 for a Pac-12 championship and $300,000 for a CFP bowl appearance. Petersen would receive $500,000 for "winning the CFP national championship." In addition, UW "will pay Petersen's $750,000 buyout that he owes" Boise State, and "will pay him up to $500,000 to offset any tax burden incurred by that payment." If UW AD Scott Woodward is no longer in his position, Petersen's contract "will be extended through Jan. 31, 2020, essentially tacking an extra football season onto it." That will only occur if Petersen's contract "has not already been extended past that date prior to Woodward's departure." Petersen's buyout clause states that he would owe $3M if he leaves UW "in the first year of his deal," $2.5M in Years 2 or 3, and $1.5M in Year 4 (THENEWSTRIBUNE.com, 12/9).
TITLE TOWNS: In West Palm Beach, Tom D'Angelo reported Florida State and football coach Jimbo Fisher have agreed to a new contract that will put him "among the top 10 highest paid in the country." Fisher "will average about" $4.1M per season, up from $2.75M under his current deal. The deal "will be five to seven years" in length and is expected to be announced "early this week" (PALM BEACH POST, 12/8). Meanwhile, in Birmingham, Joel Erickson reported Auburn has given Gus Malzahn a six-year extension, with $3.85M per year in a contract "with a $250,000 raise each subsequent year." If he coaches "to the full term of the contract, the raises would escalate his salary" to $5.1M per year in '19. His original contract offered him $2.3M over five years, which ranked "11th out of 14 SEC coaches." The raise bumps Malzahn to sixth in the conference, "ahead of South Carolina's Steve Spurrier" (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 12/7).
BEAR MARKET: In L.A., Chris Foster wrote the Pac-12 "has changed, and UCLA seems to be keeping up with the cash-and-carry-the-day crowd." The school is now "able to compete in that kind of financial arena, thanks in a large part to the Pac-12's television deal." UCLA AD Dan Guerrero said, "You go back to 2003, when I made my first (football) hire, the economic situation was completely different. That was a constraint, a barrier, to being competitive. We couldn't snap our fingers and come up with dollars." Foster noted the TV deals with Fox and ESPN have "beefed up budgets throughout the conference," with UCLA's share this year "expected to be" about $16M. UCLA football coach Jim Mora this season made $2.2M and recently signed a two-year extension "believed to be about" $3M. Guerrero said of the TV revenue, "It's a big game-changer across the conference. The coaches who have been hired, the practice facilities, for basketball and football, are due in a large part to that windfall" (L.A. TIMES, 12/8).