UK will pay Stoops base salary of $11 million over five years

bestep@herald-leader.comDecember 2, 2012 

  • Mark Stoops' contract incentives

    Highlights from Mark Stoops' contract. See it in full at

    ■ $400,000 base annual salary paid by UK.

    ■ $1.6 million a year in media agreements and endorsements, rising to $2 million in his fifth year.

    ■ $100,000 bonus for each SEC win a season beyond the first win.

    ■ Additional bonuses for winning five or more SEC games a season, for winning the SEC Eastern Division championship and league championship or for playing in the Bowl Championship Series.

    ■ Bonuses for players' academic progress.

The University of Kentucky's new head football coach, Mark Stoops, will receive a base salary of $11 million over the five years of his contract, UK announced Sunday.

The contract also includes incentive bonuses that would push Stoops' pay higher for success in the Southeastern Conference and bowl games.

For instance, after Stoops wins one SEC game, he will get a $100,000 bonus for each subsequent SEC win a season, the contract says.

The contract also includes bonuses for winning five or more SEC regular-season games; for winning the SEC Eastern Division and league championships; and for playing in the Bowl Championship Series.

Under those terms, if UK won six SEC games and the division and league titles, Stoops would get an extra $900,000, according to the contract he signed Nov. 26.

"We wanted to make sure that Mark knew we wanted him here," UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said Sunday at Stoops' first news conference in Lexington.

If UK fires Stoops for major rules violations or other problems defined as good cause under the contract, he wouldn't get any pay after that point.

If the university fires Stoops for some reason other than the causes listed in the contract, he would be entitled to at least some of his remaining salary, based on when the termination occurs.

However, the contract does not require Stoops to repay any salary if he leaves before the end of the contract, which runs through Dec. 31, 2017.

Barnhart said he did not see that as a concern, pointing out that Stoops wants to coach at UK.

"As we grow this thing, if it gets to a different spot, maybe we'll have that conversation," Barnhart said.

Stoops' basic annual salary is $400,000. He will get an additional amount, rising from $1.6 million his first year to $2 million his fifth, from media agreements and endorsements.

Stoops will be provided the use of two late-model automobiles and will receive 16 tickets to each home football game and four tickets to each home basketball game.

He also potentially would get bonuses for football players' academic progress and would receive a bonus if named SEC or national coach of the year.

Stoops' base salary will not be in the top range of the SEC. Alabama Coach Nick Saban's pay this year was $5.3 million including endorsements, for instance, according to a USA Today analysis.

Fired UK Coach Joker Phillips' pay this year was $1.7 million, including $400,000 in salary and $1.3 million in media programs and athletic endorsements.

Phillips' contract did not require automatic escalating annual payments from the endorsements, although it did allow for the possibility of increases.

Phillips would have had to win four SEC games in a season to get a $100,000 bonus. The amount would have escalated to $200,000 for eight SEC wins in a season.

Stoops declined comment when asked what discussions he'd had with Barnhart about upgrading UK's football facilities.

Barnhart, however, said UK has been working on plans for improvements at Commonwealth Stadium for years.

The university has systematically improved athletics facilities, but there are "a couple of major ones left out there for us to figure out," Barnhart said, mentioning the football stadium and baseball facilities.

Barnhart in the past has mentioned a number of things on his wish list for an expansion and upgrade of Commonwealth Stadium, including adding club seating and more luxury suites, upgrades to concession stands and the addition of monitors in concourse and other areas.

However, UK needs approval from the state legislature for the spending.

UK President Eli Capilouto, who spoke along with Stoops and Barnhart at Sunday's news conference, urged the Big Blue Nation to help UK get the approval it needs for plans "to rebuild all facets of our campus."

"With the guidance and leadership of our board of trustees, we will define plans on how we can fund multiple projects with our own dollars," Capilouto said. "We need the authorization of the legislature to proceed. We will need everybody's help in getting that approval."

UK wants to upgrade Commonwealth Stadium, but the football program has what it needs to be successful, and Stoops had no problem with the quality of football facilities, Barnhart said.

"The winning edge for us is not a brand new facility," Barnhart said.

Bill Estep: (606) 678-4655.Twitter: @billestep1

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