We’re only a few weeks away from USC’s upcoming potential coaching search resulting in a bunch of raises for folks around the country but the Trojans’ now-filled athletic director chair may have produced one mega-deal for somebody who was of reported interest to Southern Cal earlier this month.
As the Austin American-Statesman notes, the UT System Board of Regents is all set to formally approve a new contract for Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte that will be among the richest in the country for his position and certainly tops among public schools.
“One of the things I do with all my people is look at where the market is and make sure that our best people are where the market is for those positions,” school president Gregory L. Fenves told the paper. “We got a great deal with Chris when I hired him two years ago, and I want to make sure that we’re still providing competitive compensation to the marketplace as a whole.”
The contract runs through 2027 and is worth over $18 million guaranteed for Del Conte, including a raise to $2.08 million beginning in 2020 and escalating from there. There is a steep buyout for Del Conte should he want to leave for another gig (just shy of the total amount left) or if the Longhorns want to fire him too, a clause more commonly found in the coaches contracts he will be tasked with handing out.
It’s not like the school can’t afford it though as Texas is regularly one of the three richest athletic departments in the country, generating over $200 million in revenue each of the past several years alone (the Statesman says the school took in $219.4 million last season). Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick is likely the only other AD in the country to make more with a reported salary of nearly $3 million to lead the Irish.
Del Conte, who arrived in Austin after successfully leading TCU into the Big 12, has been busy since taking over the gig, fundraising hundreds of millions to help expand Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium and recently to build a new basketball arena for the school.
It appears we’re only steps away from the Hogs getting called.
According to a number of reports surfacing on Sunday, Arkansas has pivoted from hiring now-Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin to bringing in Georgia offensive line coach Sam Pittman as the team’s next head coach.
Pittman is widely regarded as one of the best assistant coaches in the SEC and developed a quality reputation for both recruiting and teaching along the offensive line. He was in Fayetteville from 2013-2015 under Bret Bielema and spent time at Tennessee, North Carolina, Missouri, Kansas and Northern Illinois and others over the years.
The Oklahoma native was recently elevated to associate head coach in Athens and was one of the few position coaches to come close making $1 million a year without a coordinator title.
Pittman will replace Chad Morris, who was fired in early November after going winless in conference play and posting a 4-18 overall record with the Hogs in less than two seasons.
The games have been played. The wins have been tallied. The touchdowns have been counted. The championship trophies have been hoisted.
Now it’s time for the college football postseason to commence.
So where is everybody going bowling? Here’s a look at the full lineup of games and who’s in them. All times ET, games on ESPN unless otherwise indicated.
College Football Playoff Semifinals
|Peach Bowl – Dec. 28, 4pm
||No. 1 LSU
||No. 4 Oklahoma
|Fiesta Bowl – Dec. 28, 8pm
||No. 2 Ohio State
||No. 3 Clemson
New Year’s Six
|Cotton Bowl – Dec. 28, Noon
|Orange Bowl – Dec. 30, 8pm
|Rose Bowl – Jan. 1, 5pm
|Sugar Bowl – Jan. 1, 8:45pm
2019 FBS Bowl Games
|Bahamas Bowl – Dec. 20, 2 pm
|Frisco Bowl – Dec. 20, 7:30pm**
|New Mexico Bowl – Dec. 21, 2pm
||San Diego State
|Cure Bowl – Dec. 21, 2:30pm^^
|Boca Raton Bowl – Dec. 21, 3:30pm*
|Camellia Bowl – Dec. 21, 5:30pm
|Vegas Bowl – Dec. 21, 7:30pm*
|New Orleans Bowl – Dec. 21, 9pm
|Gasparilla Bowl – Dec. 23, 2:30pm
|Hawaii Bowl – Dec. 24, 8pm
|Independence Bowl – Dec. 26, 4pm
|Quick Lane Bowl – Dec. 26, 8pm
|Military Bowl – Dec. 27, Noon
|Pinstripe Bowl – Dec. 27, 3:30pm
|Texas Bowl – Dec. 27, 6:45pm
|Holiday Bowl – Dec. 27, 8pm++
|Cheez-It Bowl – Dec. 27, 10:15pm
|Camping World Bowl – Dec. 28, Noon*
|First Responder Bowl – Dec. 30, 12:30pm
|Music City Bowl – Dec. 30, 4pm
|RedBox Bowl – Dec. 30, 4pm+
|Belk Bowl – Dec. 31, Noon
|Sun Bowl – Dec. 31, 2pm^
|Liberty Bowl – Dec. 31, 3:45pm
|Arizona Bowl – Dec. 31, 4:30pm^^
|Alamo Bowl – Dec. 31, 7:30pm
|Citrus Bowl – Jan. 1, 1pm*
|Outback Bowl – Jan. 1, 1pm
|Birmingham Bowl – Jan. 2, 3pm
|Gator Bowl – Jan. 2, 7pm
|Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Jan. 3, 3:30pm
|Armed Forces Bowl – Jan. 4, 11:30am
|LendingTree Bowl – Jan. 6, 7:30pm
^^ CBS Sports Network
While most of the focus on the Sunday after the regular season is reserved to teams finding out their postseason destination, Virginia Tech took the time to focus on the future beyond the next month.
Hokies head coach Justin Fuente confirmed that the was staying in-house to find Bud Foster’s replacement as the program’s defensive coordinator, tapping safeties coach and former player Justin Hamilton for the role.
“Justin has earned this opportunity to lead our defense and our football team,” Fuente said in a statement. “Everyone in our program has a great deal of respect for him and his abilities. Coach Foster has reiterated to me on several occasions that Justin is ready for this next step in his coaching career. I feel the same way and am convinced he’s exactly the right fit for this role at Virginia Tech. Coach Hamilton is a talented coach and recruiter with a deep passion for both the game and Virginia Tech. He possesses a great knack for connecting with our players. His voice carries tremendous weight on the field and in the locker room because he’s worn that helmet and experienced many of the same things the young men in our program are going through.”
Hamilton returned to Blacksburg last year in an off the field role before joining the coaching staff. He was a player at a number of spots under Frank Beamer and Foster from 2002-05 before spending some time in the NFL. Hamilton’s coaching career began at Virginia Military Institute and Virginia-Wise from 2011-2017.
There had been plenty of speculation that Fuente would tap ex-Missouri head coach Barry Odom as DC after the two had the same arrangement together at Memphis but it appears those rumors did not bear fruit.
Fuente also confirmed that running backs coach Zohn Burden and cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell will not return to the Virginia Tech coaching staff.
It’s a pretty good day for Isaiah Simmons.
The Clemson linebacker woke up Sunday as an ACC Champion, found out later he was going to the College Football Playoff as the No. 3 seed and was also was named the winner of the 2019 Butkus Award as the best linebacker in the country.
“Simmons is one of the most versatile athletes to play the linebacker position. He’s an exceptional athlete with unique length and makes plays at all three levels, with terrific rush ability, blitz timing, cover skill and tackling range. He’s a modern-day linebacker with special match-up skills. For as good of a football player as he is, he’s a better person and will represent the Butkus Award with class,” a release confirming the news said.
The Kansas native has 93 tackles, seven sacks, a fumble and two interceptions on the season.
Simmons beat out Cal’s Evan Weaver, Wisconsin’s Zach Baun, Texas Tech’s Jordyn Brooks and Penn State’s Micah Parsons for the award.
LSU linebacker and top 10 pick Devin White won the trophy last year.