Mark Stoops: Kentucky football coach signs extension

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One day earlier than Kentucky football’s loss to Vanderbilt earlier this month, the college signed head coach Mark Stoops to a contract extension that might hold him as coach by the 2030 season.

Stoops’ earlier contract was set to run out after the 2027 season however included a clause that triggered an automated one-year extension any time Kentucky received seven video games and a two-year extension anytime Kentucky received 10 video games. That clause is deleted from the brand new deal, which as an alternative ensures a $9 million per 12 months wage beginning in February 2023 by June 2031.

The earlier deal would have paid Stoops $7 million subsequent season and elevated his annual wage by $250,000 per 12 months by the tip of the contract.

At $9 million, Stoops’ wage would rank sixth amongst all faculty football coaches, based on a USA Today database. Only Alabama’s Nick Saban, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Georgia’s Kirby Smart, LSU’s Brian Kelly and Michigan State’s Mel Tucker are set to be paid extra this 12 months. Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher’s wage can be $9 million this season.

Some coaches paid lower than $9 million this season are more likely to additionally obtain contract extensions to go that quantity within the coming months. For occasion Ohio State Coach Ryan Day agreed to a brand new deal price $9.5 million per 12 months that’s not but mirrored within the USA Today database.

The extension would at the least quickly additionally make Stoops UK’s highest paid coach, passing males’s basketball coach John Calipari, who is ready to earn $8.5 million per 12 months by the 2024-25 season. Calipari’s wage will increase to $9 million yearly beginning in July 2025.

As a part of the brand new deal, the buyout Stoops would owe Kentucky for an additional job would improve dramatically.

Stoops’ earlier deal specified he must pay Kentucky $1.75 million if he left the college at any time when 5 or extra years remained on his contract. Now, Stoops should pay Kentucky $4.5 million if he leaves previous to June 30, 2023. The buyout then decreases by $500,000 per 12 months by June 2030.

While Stoops, UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart and college President Eli Capilouto all signed the contract on Nov. 11, at some point earlier than Kentucky’s stunning 24-21 loss to Vanderbilt that snapped the Commodores’ 26-game SEC shedding streak, the college didn’t announce the extension publicly.

The contract was posted to the UK’s Office of Legal Counsel web site together with the remainder of the athletic division contracts final week. A information launch dated Nov. 18 that has not been despatched to the media was hooked up to the doc on-line.

“We have been engaged on this for over a month and are glad to have it finalized,” Barnhart stated within the launch. “Continuity has turn into increasingly necessary in right this moment’s panorama, and make no mistake about it, the job that Coach Stoops has accomplished is well-known and extremely regarded all through the faculty football world.

“This extension additionally acknowledges what Coach Stoops has accomplished over the previous decade, with unprecedented achievements within the historical past of Kentucky football, and reinforces his dedication to UK as we attempt for continued success sooner or later.”

Various media studies have talked about Stoops as a candidate for the open jobs at Nebraska and Auburn in current weeks, however these studies got here earlier than the Vanderbilt loss. Kentucky adopted that efficiency with an improved displaying in a 16-6 defeat to No. 1 Georgia on Saturday, however now should beat archrival Louisville within the Governor’s Cup rivalry recreation or win its bowl recreation to clinch a successful season.

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The new contract extension Mark Stoops signed can pay UK’s head football coach $9 million per 12 months, making him — at the least for the second — the sixth-highest paid head coach in all of faculty football. Silas Walker swalker@herald-leader.com

Earlier this season, Stoops handed Paul “Bear” Bryant as Kentucky’s all-time winningest coach. Stoops has since prolonged his file win whole to 65.

He has led Kentucky to 2 10-win seasons within the final 5 years. Prior to 2018, Kentucky had not received 10 video games in a season since 1977. Stoops additionally holds this system information for many house wins (45), most SEC wins (32) and most seasons coached (10).

Kentucky has received 4 consecutive bowl video games and reached a bowl in seven consecutive seasons. The Wildcats maintain the nation’s longest energetic non-conference successful streak at 19 video games.

“I’m very appreciative of Dr. Capilouto and Mitch Barnhart for the connection we have now and the constant dedication they’ve proven to this system,” Stoops stated within the launch posted on-line. “The continuity we have had has been essential to our development and is much more necessary as we transfer ahead with the adjustments in faculty football.

“As Mitch stated, we have been engaged on this for some time, as I wished to reaffirm my dedication. I’ve beloved it right here and am enthusiastic about our future.”

The contract extension features a new incentive construction that represents the raised expectations for this system.

Previously, Stoops acquired a $250,000 bonus for every win beginning at No. 9 in a season. He additionally might obtain bonuses for successful numerous Coach of the Year awards, reaching the SEC championship recreation and ranging ranges of bowl video games.

The extension consists of simply two performance-based incentives.

Stoops will now be paid $100,000 anytime his crew participates in a non-New Year’s Six bowl recreation. That bonus will increase by $50,000 if Kentucky additionally wins at the least eight video games.

Stoops will likely be paid $300,000 if Kentucky participates in one of many present New Year’s Six bowl video games or any future bowls added to the College Football Playoff. If Kentucky reaches the playoff semifinals, the bonus will increase to $500,000. If the Wildcats attain the nationwide championship recreation, that bonus jumps to $650,000. Winning a nationwide championship would earn Stoops $800,000.

This story was initially revealed November 20, 2022 10:39 AM.

Jon Hale is the University of Kentucky football beat author for the Lexington Herald-Leader. He joined the Herald-Leader in 2022 however has coated UK athletics for greater than 10 years. Hale was named the 2021 Kentucky Sportswriter of the Year.

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