LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville and football coach Charlie Strong have agreed on an 8-year contract extension that will guarantee the coach $3.7 million per year through the 2020 season.
The contract makes Strong the seventh-highest paid coach in college football.
Strong, coming off a Sugar Bowl championship and back-to-back shares of the Big East championship, had been courted by the University of Tennessee late last year, and reportedly weighed the offer seriously before announcing he would stay at U of L.
Strong's new contract also includes incentives, including $100,000 for reaching a BCS bowl, $50,000 for a BCS championship, $50,000 for being named Big East coach of the year, and $50,000 for being named national coach of the year, in addition to other academic and performance incentives.
The contract is structured, as many coaches' deals are, with a base
salary of $1.85 million and another $1.85 million guaranteed as "media
base" salary for off-the-field duties. The contract terms are back-dated
to Jan. 1 of this year.
A buyout provision means that it would
cost Strong (or his new employer) $5 million if he were to leave after
next season or $4.375 million after the 2014 season. The buyout declines
in each subsequent year he stays.
It also contains a loyalty
bonus provision. If Strong completes three more seasons at U of L, he
will receive a bonus of $1.25 million plus a $1 million annuity. That
would boost the three-year value of the new contract to $4.45 million
He would also receive a $1 million bonus if he completed the 2016 season and $200,000 after the 2017 and 2018 season.
"It provides stability," U of L athletic director Tom Jurich told reporters after the U of L athletic association's executive board approved the deal. "And you know that's something I'm always looking for."
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