West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen will earn $2.3 million this season under a new six-year contract, athletic director Oliver Luck said Wednesday.
The deal includes $250,000 in base pay and the remainder in supplemental pay from athletic department revenue or private sources. Holgorsen, now in his second year, will receive annual raises of $200,000 in the second and third years of the contract, and $100,000 in the fourth and fifth years.
The agreement also includes performance incentives, including for team academic achievements, regular-season victories, conference titles and postseason bowl appearances.
One area spells out reasons Holgorsen can be fired. They include being convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving ”moral turpitude,” a plea of no contest, and if he is involved in substance abuse or habitual drunkenness.
Five months after he came to West Virginia and a month before taking over for Bill Stewart, an intoxicated Holgorsen was escorted out of a casino, but no charges were filed.
Holgorsen also would have to pay a $2 million penalty if he leaves before the contract expires.
Until now, Holgorsen had been working under a term sheet he signed when he was hired and would have earned about $1.7 million this season. Luck said the new compensation terms are in line with other Big 12 and major-college coaches’ salaries.
WVU left the Big East Conference earlier this year after a messy lawsuit to join the Big 12.
”We have said all along we are going to pay our coach a competitive salary for a very valued and competitive position,” Luck said. ”I have full confidence in coach Holgorsen and his staff and want them to be with us for a long time.”
Texas coach Mack Brown and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops remain the highest-paid coaches in the Big 12, followed by Oklahoma State, TCU and Kansas.
Luck hired Holgorsen in 2010 to eventually replace Stewart as coach. Holgorsen was brought in as offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting and took over a year early in June 2011 with Stewart’s forced resignation.
Holgorsen finished his first season at WVU with a 10-3 record and a Big East championship, as well as a 70-33 victory over Clemson in the Orange Bowl,
Holgorsen said he didn’t view signing a contract as a question of commitment because he feels he was already dedicated to the program.
”I wake up, come to work and try to make it better every day,” he said. ”Oliver and the administration probably get tired of me asking questions and asking how we can make things better on a daily basis, but my commitment has always been the same. It is just what reality is. When the university commits what it has to me and vice versa, it is a positive. Assistant coaches and players will view this as stability, and they are going to want to be here. It is going to help in recruiting, ticket sales and all of the rest.”
Just for staying with the program, Holgorsen will receive an additional $75,000 on Dec. 8 each year, $50,000 on March 1, 2013, and $300,000 on March 1, 2014.
He’ll get bonuses starting at eight regular-season wins, including a maximum of $200,000 for 12 regular-season wins. An appearance in the national championship game would earn him $200,000 and he’d get an additional $250,000 for a national championship. Such incentive payments are capped at $600,000 per year.
The contract also stipulates a budget of at least $2.6 million for Holgorsen’s assistant coaches that will increase at least 3 percent annually – and at least 5 percent if the team qualifies for a bowl.
West Virginia opens the season at home Sept. 1 against Marshall. The Mountaineers open Big 12 play at home Sept. 29 against Baylor.
”It has been a good year, but it has only been a year,” Luck said. ”He is a tremendous coach. I would like him to coach in Morgantown as long as he wants.”