Ken Wilson has signed a five-year, $4.75 million deal to be Nevada’s new head football coach, according to the contract obtained Monday by Nevada Sports Net via a public records request. The deal, effective Dec. 10, 2021, is the largest for a Nevada football coach and the third largest in school history for any coach in Wolf Pack history. The deal includes a number of potential bonuses. Here is an overview of the contract.
The contract starts Dec. 10, 2021 and runs through Dec. 1, 2026, making this a five-year agreement, the standard length of contracts for college football coaches.
Wilson will make $300,000 in base salary, the same figure as Jay Norvell’s last deal and Steve Alford’s current deal.
Wilson will earn $650,000 in media and public appearances as long as he’s employed by Nevada, which will push his guaranteed annual salary to $950,000 as long as he meets his media obligations – two radio, five television/Internet and five public/donor appearances per fiscal year. That money is to be paid no later than 30 days after the completion of the football regular or postseason tournaments, whichever is later.
Wilson’s $950,000 in guaranteed money ranks ninth out of 11 Mountain West coaches (sans Air Force’s Troy Calhoun, whose salary is unknown) after Norvell ranked last during his entire tenure. The MW average is around $1.25 million.
Wilson’s $950,000 in guaranteed money makes him the highest-paid football coach in Nevada’s history, surpassing Norvell’s high-water mark of $625,000 last season. He becomes the third-highest-paid coach in school history behind Eric Musselman, who made $1 million annually, and Steve Alford, who is making $1.15 million this season and will top out at $1.5 million annually at the end of his contract.
As long as Nevada hits a single-season APR of 940 in the immediately preceding academic year, Wilson is eligible to earn the following athletic performance bonuses. His total bonus compensation can not exceed $450,000. Amounts below are cumulative.
* Winning six regular-season games ($25,000)
* Winning seven regular-season games ($50,000)
* Winning eight regular-season games ($75,000)
* Beating a Power 5 school ($25,000)
* Winning the Mountain West title ($25,000)
* Winning a non-New Years Six/College Football Playoff bowl ($25,000)
* Playing in a New Year’s Six bowl ($150,000) or winning in a New Year’s Six bowl ($200,000)
* Playing in a CFP semifinal bowl game ($250,000)
Coach of the year
* Winning the MW coach of the year or co-coach of the year award ($25,000)
* Winning the national coach of the year or co-coach of the year award ($50,000)
Academic performance bonuses
* For his team achieving a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the fall or spring semester each year ($25,000)
The athletic and academic performances would be forfeited if Wilson was fired for cause or terminated the contract on or before Jan. 31 of the following fiscal year.
If Nevada fires Wilson without cause prior to the end of his contract (Dec. 1, 2026), the Wolf Pack would owe him the following figures as a buyout:
Fired on or before Nov. 30, 2022: $2 million
Fired between Dec. 1, 2022- Nov. 30, 2023: $1.5 million
Fired between Dec. 1, 2023-Nov. 30, 2024: $1 million
Fired between Dec. 1, 2024-Nov. 30, 2025: $500,000
If Wilson were to find employment after being fired without cause, the Wolf Pack’s obligation would be reduced by the sum of his future salary.
If Wilson leaves before the end of his contract, he must pay Nevada the following figures:
Before Jan. 31, 2023: $4 million
Between Feb. 1, 2023-Jan. 31, 2024: $3 million
Between Feb. 1, 2024-Jan. 31, 2025: $2 million
Between Feb. 1, 2025-Jan. 31, 2026: $950,000
The payment would be made in one lump sum and due within 90 days of his departure date.
Wilson gets a skybox at Mackay Stadium that includes up to 12 season tickets in football; he gets four season tickets in all other sports; he gets a country club membership for the entirety of his tenure; and a monthly $1,000 automobile stipend. Wilson also is eligible to contract independently with a shoe, apparel or equipment company.
The contract states Wilson will be evaluated on four factors, including: 40 percent on competitiveness; 40 percent on academic and rules compliance; 10 percent on institutional goals, including diversity and citizenship; and 10 percent on program administration
* If Nevada’s APR falls below 940, Wilson must within 30 days of the end of the academic year prepare and submit to the athletic director a written plan of action to achieve a 940 APR in the next academic year
* Nevada’s AD, with the approval of the president, can fine Wilson up to $10,000 per violation of Board of Regent, university or NCAA/conference rules
* Wilson’s spouse and child are allowed team travel privileges to all away/postseason football games at the standard state per diem rate
* Wilson must notify his athletic director immediately in writing of opportunity or interest from a school in the NCAA, NAIA or any professional league or conference in the United States or elsewhere
* Any legal dispute arising between the two parties over this contract would be litigated in a court of competent jurisdiction in Washoe County, State of Nevada
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