At Nearly $10 Million, University of Texas to Give Charlie Strong the Highest Ever First-Year Payment of a Public School Coach

Charlie Strong at a press conference (Photo: Brendan Maloney, USA TODAY Sports)
Charlie Strong at a press conference (Photo: Brendan Maloney, USA TODAY Sports)

The University of Texas’ new football coach, Charlie Strong, will be paid $5 million for the 2014 season and the university will pay Strong’s $4.375 million buyout to Louisville, according to financial terms approved Monday by the university system’s board of regents.

It was not immediately clear whether Texas would also be covering the income taxes associated with the buyout, but even without that, Strong’s $9.375 million in total compensation for 2014 will be the largest one-year amount paid to a public-school athletics coach since USA TODAY Sports began tracking pay of football and men’s basketball coaches in 2006.

Strong’s contract with Texas is for five years, and it includes guaranteed pay increases of at least $100,000 each year.

The deal means that in 2014 there will be at least three football coaches with recurring annual compensation of at least $5 million — Strong, Alabama’s Nick Saban and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin. There were two such coaches during the 2013 season: Saban and Texas’ former coach, Mack Brown; Brown was due to have been paid $5.5 million in 2014.

Strong’s term sheet also lists a variety of perquisites, including:

—20 hours of airplane flight time.

—A suite for home football games, plus six football season tickets — both for Strong’s personal use.

—Four season tickets for other men’s sports and for women’s sports.

—Memberships in the UT Golf Club and two social/dining clubs.

—Having his wife’s travel expenses paid when she travels to athletic events, development and official entertainment and other business activities.

As far as compensation for a single year for a coach, Strong ranks way up there.

Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski was credited with nearly $9.7 million in compensation during the 2011 calendar year, according to the federal tax return the university released in May 2013.

The greatest total among public-school coaches had been the slightly more than $8.9 million that Louisville men’s basketball Rick Pitino received in 2010-11, a contract year in which he received a $3.6 million bonus for completing a three-year portion of his deal and more than $1.4 million in athletically related outside income.

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SOURCE: Steve Berkowitz

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