So how much are an 11-2 record, a Heisman Trophy, a win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa, a Cotton Bowl rout of Oklahoma and a top ten recruiting class worth?
Well, if Kevin Sumlin's new contract that he inked earlier this week with Texas A&M is any indicator (and really, it's the only indicator), the value of a year like the one Sumlin had in his first season in College Station is an additional million dollars and change in compensation annually, a much bigger bucket of money for assistant coaches and some very healthy, very attainable bonuses.
Indeed, it's good to be Kevin Sumlin right about now. Damn good. How good? Let's look at some of the details of his new deal with the Aggies.
Courtesy of the Dallas Morning News, here is the breakdown of Sumlin's annual base pay and "additional compensation," which for college coaches is fancy lingo for "inflated television, radio, appearance, and apparel money that allows us to keep your base salary from being even more ridiculously skewed from where the rest of the faculty's salaries are":
Beginning April 1, 2013, Sumlin will receive $500,000 annually, plus an annual supplemental payment of $2,600,000. The supplemental amount increases to $2,725,000 on April 1, 2015 and then decreases to $2,350,000 on April 1, 2017.
So, the take home, pre-bonus pay averages right at $3.1 million annually, a sizable bump from the $2 million average of Sumlin's original deal when he signed on with Texas A&M last year. The $3.1 million average puts Sumlin just outside the top ten highest paid coaches in college football (courtesy of mysanantionio.com):
1. Nick Saban, Alabama, $5,476,738. 2. Mack Brown, Texas, $5,353,750.
3. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma, $4,550,000.
4. Urban Meyer, Ohio State, $4,300,000.
5. Les Miles, LSU, $3,856,417.
6. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa, $3,835,000.
7. Charlie Strong, Louisville, $3,700,000.
8. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina, $3,585,000.
9. Gary Patterson, TCU, $3,467,926.
10. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State, $3,275,000.
Considering that a majority (six, to be exact) of these coaches have won national championships, some multiple championships, and all except Strong have been at their schools for at least eight seasons or won big at multiple stops (Meyer, Saban, Spurrier), Sumlin has to be ecstatic about a bump up to $3.1 million after just his first season. If things go as smoothly or better next season and in the future, this will not be the last in-contract raise for Sumlin. As for the aforementioned bonuses, here they are (again, courtesy of the News):
-- $100,000 for making the SEC championship game/$150,000 for winning the championship game -- $50,000 for appearance in a bowl game OR $100,000 for appearance in Cotton Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Capital One Bowl or the Outback Bowl. -- $250,000 for appearance in non-national championship BCS bowl -- or $300,000 for a win. -- $300,000 for appearance in national championship game or $400,000 for winning national championship game. -- $50,000 for being named SEC coach of the year -- $75,000 for being named national coach of the year.
Sumlin can also receive $100,000 extra each year if the Academic Progress Rate meets NCAA benchmarks, some of which can be shared with his staff.
If you're into the nuts and bolts of contracts, the News has a copy of the entire signed agreement embedded in their article. If you do choose to read it, pay particular attention to a couple of key areas.
First, Section 4.10 addresses the amount of money that Sumlin has available to pay assistant coaches. It reads as follows:
4.10 The UNIVERSITY will make available to SUMLIN as assistant coaches' salary pool of $3.4 million in 2013. Thereafter, SUMLIN and the Director will meet annually to mutually determine the assistant coaches' salary pool for that particular year, it being agreed that said salary pool will be set each year at a level that will enable the UNIVERSITY's football program to remain competitive with all other top-tier SEC football programs.
I know from people I've spoken with who "know things" that a huge part of Sumlin's desire to get a new contract done was his need for more money to pay his staff. In his five years as a head coach, Sumlin has proven to be one of the better judges of assistant coaching talent in the country. In the SEC arms race, great assistant coaches are a very unsung weapon, on Saturdays in the fall and on the recruiting trail. This clause keeps Sumlin's house, so to speak, somewhat secure.
The other key part of the deal that Aggies everywhere should commit to memory is Section 5.4, which outlines the clauses governing a termination of the contract initiated by Sumlin, i.e. what will happen if Kevin Sumlin decides to take another job. If you want to read the entire section, you can read the contract yourself, but the broad strokes are this: starting this season, the buyout would be $2 million if Sumlin wanted to take another job. That amount goes down by $400,000 each year of this new contract. Pretty simple.
While I have a hard time believing that Kevin Sumlin would take another job at the collegiate level (or better worded, a hard time believing the Aggies wouldn't back up the Brinks truck to keep him), I do think the NFL might hold some intrigue for him. I know for a fact that there are NFL teams intrigued by him. (Rumor has it that one high level of executive an NFL team even showed up at Sumlin's house unannounced to discuss their head coaching position in January.)
At this point, on the NFL front, Aggies everywhere should root for two things:
1. Root for Chip Kelly to fail miserably in Philadelphia. Like Sumlin, Kelly is viewed as a highly organized, innovative, patriarch of the new wave of up-tempo, spread offense. If Kelly succeeds in turning around the Eagles, owners will be looking for the "next Chip Kelly." Sumlin's fits that profile to a tee.
2. Root for Gary Kubiak to win in Houston, at least enough to keep his job. If the Texans continue to fall short in the postseason or, God forbid, fall back to their 6-10 ways of a couple years ago, there will be a "draft Vince Young" type of uproar to fire Kubiak and bring in Sumlin, provided A&M continues to win at a high, high level. Mark it down.
For now, though, Aggies, be happy. Your house is in order. The SEC television network is on its way, Johnny Manziel is probably doing a body shot off of a stripper as you read this, and Kevin Sumlin is an even wealthier man than he was a week ago.
Wow. Crowned WWE World champion on Sunday and then given a lucrative contract extension on Monday. That's a pretty good 24 hours for Kevin Sumlin.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.