A little less than 10 months after his stunning departure from Wisconsin, Bret Bielema‘s new employer has released the coach’s contract particulars.
According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Bielema’s six-year contract, which runs through Dec. 31 of 2018, will pay the head coach in the neighborhood of $2.95 million annually. Bonuses based on academic and on-field performance could push that number to as high as $3.65 million.
Last season with the Badgers, his seventh season in Madison, Bielema made just over $2.6 million.
The $2.95 million figure would’ve placed Bielema behind Alabama’s Nick Saban ($5.5 million), LSU’s Les Miles ($3.9 million), South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier ($3.6 million) and Auburn’s Gene Chizik ($3.6 million) in the SEC contractual pecking order. While Chizik’s involuntarily departed The Plains following the 2012 season, Georgia’s Mark Richt received a contract extension as well as a raise this past February that will push his compensation from $2.81 million in 2012 to $3.2 million in 2013, leaving Bielema tied for fifth in the conference in the salary arms race; in July of this year, Florida’s Will Muschamp was given a raise that will pay him the same $2.95 million in 2013.
If Bielema were to be fired between now and the end of the 2015 season, UA would owe the coach a whopping $12.8 million. That total decreases by $3.2 million from thereon out through the end of the contract. Conversely, Bielema would owe the university $3 million if he decided to leave at some point this year, with that sum dropping by $500,000 annually.
In his first season with the Razorbacks, Bielema has gotten the Hogs off to their third 3-0 start the past four seasons.