Whew, image what they'd have paid me if I won at USC

The Gophers mortgage what’s left of their long-since tarnished Golden status.

If you’re possibly the worst team in 1-AA college football and your newly installed head coach (who has a limited history at coaching at this level) has won one game while being humiliated in several others, what would you do when finalizing a contract?  Probably not add two years and an extremely expensive buyout clause:

The University of Minnesota formalized the hiring of Jerry Kill as its football coach, announcing Tuesday that the two have agreed on a seven-year contract that pays $1.2 million a year in base salary and compensation for media appearances and endorsements…

There are also numerous performance-based incentives including winning the Big Ten ($150,000) [that’s just cruel to include – Ed], reaching five conference victories ($50,000) and additional bonuses of $25,000 for the sixth and subsequent victories in a season [not a problem for the foreseeable future – Ed].

As Kill’s biggest critic points out, beyond the obvious idiocy of extending a contract from 5 years to 7 despite the program seemingly going backwards, the cost of ending Jerry’s contract virtually assures Kill will be the Gophers’ head coach well into this decade no matter how bad the team performs:

My first reaction upon hearing this was to assume that the additional 2 years were an exchange for a more favorable buyout structure, but according to the Star Tribune the University is on the hook for $600K/year for any years they buyout.  Odds are the University wouldn’t seriously consider Kill’s dismissal until at least the end of his third year meaning the cheapest buyout available to them will be a $2.4M buyout.  That’s one expensive fumigation.

The University’s policy seems to be to create expensive buyouts.  Tim Brewster’s buyout cost the U $775,000.  That was chicken feed by comparison to the Glen Mason buyout that cost $3.6 million – and likely forced the U’s hand in hiring the cheapest coach they could find at the time.

All this would be understandable if Kill had a major conference resume.  Instead, a coach who compiled a middling record in the Gateway Football Conference and the MAC has become the 51st highest paid coach in the NCAA.  Not impressive sounding?  It’s the same amount of money that Paterno earns at Penn State.  It’s more than Rick Neuheisel takes at UCLA.  And it’s considerably more than Danny Hope at Purdue pockets, and Purdue just thumped Minnesota 45-17 weeks ago.

One day, the Golden Gophers will hire an accomplished head coach.  Unfortunately with this contract, that day doesn’t look to arrive until 2018 at the earliest.

7 thoughts on “Killed

  1. We built TCK Bank stadium. The Gophers are awesome. Mark Dayton is a genius. It’s going to be a warm Winter.

  2. I like the guy. One thing he is doing is making sure his players attend their classes. That beats much of the history of mens scholarship sports at the UofM-Twin Cities.

  3. What I don’t get is how an individual with his known health issues gets a seven-year contract with that kind of buyout provision. Unfortunately, Kill inherited an utter disaster from Tim Brewster so we really don’t know if he can coach at the Big Ten level.

    And by the way, the Gophers aren’t a I-AA program. Yet.

  4. Other than the money involved I quit giving a crap about most of the Gopher football program after the Lou Holtz debacle.

  5. The U’s Athletic Directors have been morons for the past couple of decades. The last one that had an ounce of sense was Paul Giel, a product of the U’s sports program. I guess it’s easier to continually blow their money on minor league coaches than it is to plead poverty to the Legislature. Now, if they funneled the money that they waste on their commie professors to take one and two year vacations (aka sabbaticals) into the football program, they could be a powerhouse! 😉

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