Auburn University released details of head football coach Gus Malzahn’s contract this week, nearly seven months after he was hired as former coach Gene Chizik’s replacement.
As agreed upon, Malzahn will average $2.3 million per year over the course of the five-year contract, $500,000 of which will be base pay. In addition, he will receive $900,000 for endorsements and another $900,000 for media appearances.
Bonuses for the coach could total more than $1 million, given achievement in particular areas. A national championship would warrant the biggest at $500,000. The smallest bonuses are based on the annual performance rate in academics. An APR between .930 and .949 would earn Malzahn $25,000. That number could reach $75,000 if the APR is above .950 and $150,000 if it is 1.000.
Malzahn would also be owed bonuses based on victories, conference championship participation, bowl participation and awards. He would receive $150,000 for winning the Southeastern Conference championship, $100,000 for playing in a BCS bowl or College Football Playoff, and $50,000 for any non-BCS bowl game.
These terms are subject to increase or extension as determined by an evaluation of Malzahn’s performance in academic success, competitive success, rules compliance and fiscal responsibility.
If Malzahn is fired before the completion of his contract, he would receive $500,000 for each year remaining on his contract. Likewise, if Malzahn left for another job before the completion of the current contract, he would owe the university $500,000 for each remaining year. Any contract termination with cause (rules infractions, academic misconduct, contract violations, etc.), Malzahn would be owed nothing.
The buyout for Malzahn’s contract is significantly less than the $7.5 million Chizik was owed following his termination.
Malzahn’s $2.3 million base pay would have ranked ninth out of 13 coaches (not counting Vanderbilt’s James Franklin) in the SEC in 2012. Vanderbilt is a private school and does not release salary figures for its coaches.