Of the 28 changes at head coach among the 100-plus Div. 1-A (FBS) programs since last October, 13 of those involved coaches who were fired or dismissed or whatever word you want to use to couch their collective departures.
While on the one hand it’s sad that an individual lost his job, the other hand is flush with cash. Lots and lots and lots of cash.
In a chart put together by the Champaign News-Gazette, schools paid or will pay a total of nearly $27.2 million to the baker’s dozen of coaches who have been canned in the past eight months. That number would have climbed past $45 million had Arkansas not fired Bobby Petrino with cause; the ex-Razorbacks coach’s contract called for an $18 million buyout, which was nullified courtesy of his illicit tryst with a football staffer and subsequent lies to his bosses.
Both Turner Gill and Houston Nutt were paid $6 million apiece as part of their severance packages from Kansas and Ole Miss, respectively. Those two coaches won a total of 11 games — including just two conference wins combined — the past two seasons.
Gill is now the head football coach at Liberty, which is looking to make the jump to the 1-A level sooner rather than later. Nutt, on the other hand, has embarked on a career in broadcasting that will last as long as it takes for him to be offered another head-coaching gig.
The News-Gazette uses a figure of $5.8 million for Mike Sherman‘s buyout from Texas A&M, although the current Miami Dolphins assistant says he is owed nearly $9 million. “Negotiations are ongoing between school president R. Bowen Loftin and Sherman,” the paper wrote.
At the low end of the financial spectrum is Rob Ianello and (surprise!) Rick Neuheisel, who will each receive $250,000 from Akron and UCLA, respectively.
Below are the figures compiled by the News-Gazette:
Neil Callaway UAB $441,000
Dennis Erickson Arizona State $753,122.71
Steve Fairchild Colorado State $350,000
Turner Gill Kansas $6 million
Rob Ianello Akron $250,000
Mike Locksley New Mexico $300,000
Rick Neuheisel UCLA $250,000
Houston Nutt Mississippi $6 million
Larry Porter Memphis $2.25 million
Mike Sherman Texas A&M $5.8 million
Mike Stoops Arizona $1.4 million
Paul Wulff Washington State $800,000
Ron Zook Illinois $2.6 million