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.
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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 each of his first two seasons. As a result, the Longhorns saved only $500,000 each year (50 percent of Strong's salary over the remaining time of his Texas contract).
Strong's annual salary:
2017: $1 million
2018: $1 million
2019: $2.5 million
2020: $2.6 million
2021: $2.7 million
His contract has a "Performance Achievements and Bonuses" section but, oddly, doesn't list specific achievements or bonuses, saying, "Coach and Athletic Director shall mutually determine the relevant achievements and amounts associated with same."
As for buyout, the contract states he would be owed the prorated annual salary for 20 weeks. However, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times last year, the full buyout terms are part of an agreement between Strong and the USF Foundation, the fundraising arm of the university.
"As a direct-support organization, USF Foundation records are confidential and exempt from disclosure under Florida law," the USF Foundation said in response to the Times' request for Strong's contract.
For what it's worth, after this season, he has $5.3 million remaining on his contract. Barring the dumbest contract in sports, his buyout isn't higher than $5.3 million.