Stoops' loyalty rewarded with raise, extension

Stoops' loyalty rewarded with raise, extension

Published Jan. 18, 2012 1:36 p.m. ET

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Mark Stoops' reward for coaching one of the nation's top defenses — and passing up more lucrative offers elsewhere — has helped him land a $135,000 raise from Florida State.

Stoops will make $575,000 in 2012, which will be his third year as FSU's defensive coordinator. He will continue to earn a $205,000 base salary, and his contract has been extended for an additional year, until Jan. 4, 2015.

His raise comes from "speaking engagement and public relations compensation," which jumps from $235,000 annually to $370,000. Those dollars are funded through revenue from Seminole Boosters, Inc.

The contract was officially signed on Friday and released to the media Wednesday.

Stoops, 44, was courted by at least three schools in December. Auburn and Texas A&M were both looking at Stoops to fill openings as defensive coordinator, and Auburn reportedly offered him $1 million. Stoops was also reportedly on Pittsburgh's list of candidates as head coach.

But now Stoops is staying in Tallahassee, where he helped guide the nation's No. 2 rush defense (82.69 yards per game) and No. 4 scoring defense (15 points per game). Both numbers are significantly better than the 30 points per game FSU allowed in 2009, the final season under defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews.

And there's the potential that FSU's defense will be as good or maybe better in 2012. Three key underclassmen — defensive end Brandon Jenkins and cornerbacks Greg Reid and Xavier Rhodes — opted to stay in school and bypass the NFL Draft. Jenkins and Reid are coming back for their senior seasons, while Rhodes will be a redshirt junior.