BOULDER, Colo. — Deion Sanders will make $5.5 million in his first year as Colorado Buffaloes head football coach, with extra incentives if the team accomplishes certain milestones, according to the contract CU offered to their new coach.
The five-year, $29.5 million contract isn't final yet. It still needs to be approved by the Board of Regents and signed by Sanders.
The $5.5 million includes a $500,000 base salary, plus $1.75 million for radio, television and public appearances (with an increase of $100,000 per year), $1.75 million for promotion and fundraising (with an increase of $100,000 per year), and $1.5 million for developing student athletes.
It comes with the following incentives:
- $50,000 if the team attains an Academic Progress Rate above 954 in the first contract year, or 965 after that
- $150,000 if the team wins six games in a season
- $100,000 for each additional win after six games
- $150,000 if the team is invited to a non-New Year's Six bowl game
- $200,000 if the team is invited to a New Year's Six bowl game
- $450,000 if the team is invited to the College Football Playoff
- $750,000 if the team wins the national championship
- $75,000 if the team plays in the Pac-12 Championship game
- $150,000 if the team wins the Pac-12
- $75,000 if Sanders is the Pac-12 Coach of the Year
- $150,000 if Sanders is the National Coach of the Year
The offer also includes a $20,000 payment for moving expenses, plus two courtesy cars and a membership to the Boulder Country Club.
The offer includes a buyout that would give Sanders 75% of the remaining salary on his contract. If Sanders were to leave in the first year of the contract, he'd owe the team $15 million. That number decreases to $10 million in the second year, $8 million in the third year, and $5 million in the fourth or fifth year.
Sanders, 55, had been head coach at Jackson State University in Mississippi since 2020. He led the program to a 27-5 record during his three seasons at the helm, which included back-to-back Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships in 2021-2022.
CU hopes Sanders' hiring will bring the football program back to prominence as it once was during Bill McCartney's tenure in the 1980s and 1990s.
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