According to the press release, the "second-year head coach will be paid an annualized salary of $2.3 million this season -- $250,000 in base pay and the remainder in supplemental pay -- all from revenue generated by the athletic department or private sources -- 'very much in line with other Big 12 and major college coaches’ salaries,' according to Luck. 'This contract brings us closer to the salaries of other major university head coaches and those within our conference. We have said all along we are going to pay our coach a competitive salary for a very valued and competitive position. I have full confidence in Coach Holgorsen and his staff and want them to be with us for a long time. He is the right man to lead our football program into the Big 12 and beyond.'
According to conference statistics, Texas Coach Mack Brown and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops remain the highest paid coaches in the Big 12, followed by Oklahoma State, TCU and Kansas.
'I want to thank Oliver Luck and President Jim Clements for their confidence in and commitment to our football program. We have a lot of things that we want to accomplish, and we have a great administration supporting us,' Holgorsen said. 'There is no question that joining the Big 12 Conference presents new challenges in competition, facility upgrades and overall growth. However, I am excited to be the head coach of the West Virginia University Mountaineers, I enjoy living in this state, and I look forward to many more successful years in Morgantown.'
Holgorsen’s contract calls for yearly raises -- $200,000 in year two and three; $100,000 in year four and five; and no increase in the final year. It also has retention payments, and there will continue to be performance-based incentives for team academic achievements, regular season victories, conference titles, postseason bowl appearances and other rankings and honors. The contract also includes liquidated damages clauses which establish payments by the coach should he leave early and by WVU should it choose to end the contract."
Luck said he felt finalizing the contract prior to the start of the season was a priority. Holgorsen said he felt there were "a lot of exciting things happening here at WVU, not only in sports but also in other areas. ... Five years goes quick. Hopefully, I am standing here in five years and we have accomplished big things."
Luck said the contract brings WVU in-line with what other Big 12 coaches earn. Holgorsen said assistant coach security is largely tied to the head coach. Luck noted it was a significant commitment to Holgorsen and Holgorsen to WVU. There is a $2 million buyout for Holgorsen to leave WVU. There is no buyout for WVU to fire Holgorsen.
There was no immediate information on whether any assistant contracts will change.
"Coaching compensation is always fluid," Luck said as a reason for the annual increases, "and we will continue to monitor that."