We (and by “we” I mean “Collin”) obtained a copy of the agreement that USF and Brian Gregory signed to make Gregory the Bulls’ new men’s basketball coach earlier this week. It’s called a “letter of offer” and USF has the option to follow it up with a formal contract, but it has all the basic terms of the deal that the two parties have made.
The first thing to jump out is the length of the offer. It’s a six-year deal, running through March 31, 2023. That’s longer than any USF coaching contract that we can remember Not only that, but there’s a clause that says if USF receives NCAA sanctions for any infractions that took place before Gregory became coach (hint hint), it automatically adds another year to his deal. This is a one-time extension, so if somehow USF were to get dinged more than once, he only gets one extra year.
The second thing is the money. It’s a lot. Like, how-can-USF-possibly-afford-this a lot. When you add up the base salary and the supplemental income (promotional appearances, fundraising, TV and radio, etc.), Gregory is due a little over $6.6 million over the life of the deal. On top of that, there are a number of incentives and bonuses that Gregory can receive for certain achievements, like 20-win seasons, NCAA and NIT appearances, wins in the NCAA Tournament, high Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores, being ranked at the end of the season, and even wins over ranked opponents.
Perhaps the reason the agreement is so lucrative is because Gregory’s buyout if USF decides to let him go is very low. If I’m reading the agreement correctly, USF only has to pay him his base salary for 20 weeks, which comes to a little over $150,000. Total. And if he gets another coaching job within those 20 weeks, they only have to pay him the difference if the salary at his new job is less than his base salary.
Overall, I think the length of the contract indicates that Mark Harlan does not want to keep hiring and firing coaches, and that he intends to give Gregory plenty of time to work on fixing up the program. The amount of money in the contract just reinforces what a tire fire Harlan has on his hands. If it took this kind of deal to get Gregory to sign on, imagine what they would have had to do to make the big-name splash hire certain know-it-all local columnists think USF should have made.
Other interesting notes:
- The assistant/staff pool for Gregory starts at $750,000 per year, rising by $25,000 in each year of the contract.
- The assistants also get to divvy up some bonus money if USF makes the NCAA Tournament or NIT.
- Gregory’s buyout if he gets offered a bigger job is fairly low. If he’s able to turn USF basketball around by year 4 or 5 and someone wants to hire him, the buyout is only $750,000 (year 4) and $450,000 (year 5).
- All of Gregory’s performance incentives and bonuses are null and void if the team’s APR is below 930 (the minimum score to avoid NCAA penalties) for that particular year.
- Gregory and his family get football season tickets!