What do college football coaching salaries look like in the Big 12?
Coaching in the Big 12 comes with some difficult challenges considering how competitive and talented the conference is but is also comes with some nice paychecks. The Big 12 is one of the best conferences in college football, and the salaries of the coaches proves that. This article will break down and examine the salaries of all the head coaches, and other aspects of their contracts.
Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma University
Lincoln Riley took over after longtime coach Bob Stoops stepped down after the 2016 season. Riley picked up right where the Sooners left off as one of the best programs in college football. After three successful seasons that saw Oklahoma make an appearance in the College Football Playoff each year, Riley signed a massive extension this past summer.
Riley’s deal will pay him a total of $45,210,000 million over six years which is an average of $7,535,000 million per year. He also gains a $500,000 and $750,000 stay bonus for not leaving the program.
Tom Herman, University of Texas
The second highest salary that resides in the Big 12 comes from Tom Herman. After finding success at the University of Houston, Herman was hired by the Longhorns after the 2016 season and the program has seen massive improvement under him. He recently signed a 2-year extension which will keep him in Austin through 2023.
Herman’s five-year deal that he signed in 2016 was worth $28,750,000 with an average salary of $5,750,000. The two-year extension for the 2022 and 2023 season will pay him $6,500,000 and $6,750,000. He can also earn up to $500,000 per year in bonuses.
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State University
Mike Gundy has a rather unique contract situation, as this past summer he took a pay cut and his contract was shortened by a year. After an internal review of the organization, Gundy agreed to the reduction of his contract.
Gundy will now make $4,125,000 per year through the 2022 season. His buyout was also reduced from $5,000,000 to $4,000,000. It is unclear what kind of bonuses, if any are included in his reworked deal.
Matt Wells, Texas Tech University
Matt Wells was signed after the 2018 season after spending time as the head coach at his alma mater Utah State university. The Red Raiders went 4-8 in their first season under Wells in 2019.
With a $18,800,000 contract over six years, it will pay Wells an average of $3,133,000 per season, with the ability to make an extra $1,000,000 per season in bonuses based off team performance.
Matt Campbell, Iowa State University
In November of 2017, Campbell agreed to a six-year deal with the Cyclones after coming over form Toledo. After both the 2018 and 2019 season, Campbell agreed to a one-year extension which will keep him in Ames until 2025.
Campbell’s original contract was worth $22,500,000 with an average salary of $3,750,000. After the extensions, his contract is closer to $3,500,000 annually, and also gives him more money to hire quality assistants.
Neal Brown, West Virginia University
West Virginia signed Neal Brown to a six-year deal at the beginning of 2019 worth a total of $19,000,000 which averages out to $3,166,000 per season.
In April 2021, WVU announced a two-year contract extension that will keep Brown at the helm through 2026. His six-year contract is now worth $23.85 million, with an average yearly salary of $3.975 million.
Brown also has the opportunity to make up to up to $ 1,150,000 annually in bonuses based off team success.
Les Miles, Kansas University
Les Miles was a former national champion at Louisiana State University before being fired 4 games into the 2016 season. After taking some time off, he agreed to become the coach of the Jayhawks, who need a veteran coach to rebuild their program.
Miles signed a five-year deal worth a total of $13,875,000, which figures out to be $2,775,000 annually. His deal also includes bonuses up to $2,165,000 per year, and also came with services such as moving expenses and a country club membership.
Chris Kleiman, Kansas State University
Kleiman became the head coach of the Wildcats after many successful seasons at North Dakota State University. Kleiman has the lowest annual salary of any Big 12 coach, but it comes with a raise of $200,000 each season.
The deal is for six years and when factoring in the annual raise, totals around $16,900,000. His deal is also heavily based off bonuses, which based off team performance can be up to $1,075,000. Much like Miles, the deal also comes with services such as a car stipend, tickets to games, and a country club membership.
The contracts of Garry Patterson at Texas Christian University and Dave Aranda at Baylor University are both not publicly released due to the fact both schools are private universities. However, it was reported that Patterson’s recent extension through 2024 will give him around $5,100,000 per year, while Aranda was recently signed to a six-year deal starting this season.
We’re adding more college football coaching salaries from other conferences here.
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