Each college football season, various "buyout" inquires spike on Google. Last year, it was "Gus Malzahn buyout," "Bobby Petrino buyout," and "Willie Taggart buyout," among others. And while it's impossible to predict coaching decisions, we can break down buyout details to figure out what it'd coast FBS programs to fire their head coaches.
In early December 2017, days after eighth-year head coach Jimbo Fisher left for Texas A&M, Florida State swiped Taggart from Oregon. It was a pricey swipe. They paid Oregon $3 million for Taggart's buyout and about $1.4 million that Oregon previously owed Taggart's former employer, South Florida.
His five-year contract calls for a base salary of … READ MORE.
On Saturday, Nov. 24, 2017, literally minutes after Arkansas lost the regular-season finale to Missouri, head coach Bret Bielema was fired. Arkansas was paying Bielema $11.9 million to go away after five seasons and only 29 victories. Two years later, might they pay another high buyout for Chad Morris to go away?
Nineteen games into his tenure, Chad Morris has four total wins, not one … READ MORE.
On Nov. 30, 2018, six days after New Mexico finished their regular season with a blowout loss to Wyoming, their seventh straight loss after a 3-2 start, Lobos' athletics director Eddie Nuñez announced head coach Bob Davie would return for an eighth season. With that, Nuñez avoided a … READ MORE.
When Tennessee fired Butch Jones in 2017, they agreed to pay a buyout of $8.5 million (in monthly installments of $200,000), which could be "mitigated" by the salary of Jones' next job, which is currently offensive analyst at Alabama. If the Vols fire his successor Jeremy Pruitt anytime soon, they could pay another buyout in … READ MORE.
After a six-year sabbatical, Chip Kelly returned to college football in December, signing a five-year, $23.3-million contract as UCLA head coach. Less than two years later, things aren't great in Westwood.
Kelly's return has started with 12 losses in his first 15 games, the most recent of which was a Week 3 blowout loss to San Oklahoma that put UCLA at 0-3 as they seek to avoid a second straight 0-5 start. And although Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times said recently High Motor podcast that Kelly's job is safe, let's look … READ MORE.
Texas fired head coach Charlie Strong on Nov. 26, 2016, one day after a loss in the regular-season finale dropped his three-year record 16-21. Fifteen days later, he was introduced as USF head coach and signed a five-year contract.
With his dismissal from Texas, Strong was owed a $10.4-million buyout: $5.4 million for each of the two remaining years on his contract. That buyout could be reduced if Strong signed a new deal elsewhere, though the Longhorns were hurt by his USF contract that started with a $1 million salary in … READ MORE.
Illinois would've paid Lovie Smith $12 million if they fired him after last season, his third as Illini head coach. That buyout plummets after the 2019 season and beyond
Smith signed a six-year deal in late 2015 when he arrived in Champaign in March 2016, two months after his dismissal as Tampa Buccaneers' head coach and three years after he left the state of Illinois as the fired Chicago Bears' head coach. His original deal, which called for $21 million over six years (2016-21), was revised at the end of … READ MORE.
We will work diligently to elevate UTEP football to the highest level in Conference USA," Dana Dimel said in a Dec. 6, 2017, new release announcing his hire as Miners' head coach. "Having been a part of a major turnaround at Kansas State and having the success we did at Wyoming, I’m just really excited about the leadership challenge that’s ahead.”
Two years later, UTEP is still a long, long way from playing at the highest level in Conference USA, and a big … READ MORE.
Chris Ash would've been owed a buyout of $9.8 million if Rutgers fired him after last season, his third as head coach. If he's fired after this season, the buyout is lower but still significant.
When Ash arrived in New Brunswick in December 2015 after two years as Ohio State defensive coordinator, he signed a five-year, $11-million contract. Two years later, after a four-win season (and three Big Ten wins), Ash signed a five-year extension that runs through … READ MORE.
When Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork left Oxford for Texas A&M earlier this year, he left behind one of the most coach-friendly contracts in college football.
In late November 2017, five months after taking over for Hugh Freeze and a few days after leading Ole Miss to a win over Mississippi State to cap a six-win season, Matt Luke was named permanent head coach and agreed to a four-year … READ MORE.
Scared of losing Malzahn to his alma mater Arkansas last year, Auburn signed the then-fifth-year head coach to a seven-year contract worth $49 million.
The deal bumped his average annual salary from $4.725 million (2017) to $7 million. Malzahn's annual salary starts at $6.7 million for 2017 and increases by $100,000 each year, meaning he'd earn $7.3 million in 2024, the final year of his deal … READ MORE.
Different year, same Week 1 result for Arizona and head coach Kevin Sumlin. Different year, same eight-figure buyout for Sumlin.
In January 2018, about eight weeks after securing a $10-million termination buyout from Texas A&M, Sumlin agreed to a five-year, $14.5-million contract at Arizona. Seven and a half months later, Arizona lost the season opener, a five-point home loss to BYU. The Wildcats lost … READ MORE.
When Michigan fired Rich Rodriguez in January 2011 after three disastrous seasons as head coach, they owed him a $2.5-million buyout. Five years later, when Michigan fired Brady Hoke after four (mostly) disastrous seasons as head coach, they owed him a $3-million buyout. If the Wolverines fire Jim Harbaugh before his current contract expires, they'd owe him …READ MORE.
Justin Fuente signed a contract extension with Virginia Tech after winning 10 games in 2016, his first season as Hokies' head coach. He signed another extension after winning nine games in 2017. He didn't sign an extension after the 2018 season and unless the Virginia Tech administration is … READ MORE.
In December 2017, days after Colorado State posted a 7-5 regular-season record for the third consecutive season, third-year head coach Mike Bobo was given a raise and three-year extension that pushed his original five-year deal (2014-19) through the 2021 season … READ MORE.
Mike Neu led Ball State to eight wins (in 12 games) in 1983 as the Cardinals' starting quarterback. Three decades later, as Ball State head coach, Neu has 11 total wins in his first 40 games and might be on the hot seat.
In January 2016, Neu was introduced as head coach signed a five-year contract with an annual salary of $425,000, among the lowest in the FBS … READ MORE.