First let’s get this out of the way.
It’s difficult to pin down the actual buyout number for head coach Charlie Strong because he has two different contracts. One with Athletics which is FOIA-able and one with the USF Foundation which is a Direct-Support Organization, and theoretically shielded from public record requests (though that might be challenged soon). After the Doug Woolard debacle, USF spokesman Adam Freeman told our Collin Sherwin that there would be no more public-records exempted contracts with the Foundation and Athletics employees, and that the reason Doug’s secret contract was exempt was only because it was negotiated long after his arrival.
His successor Mark Harlan didn’t get that memo.
Strong’s buyout is not the $192,308 we reported based on the USA Today database, but it’s still remains unclear what the figure is. USF has yet to send out the long-form contract for Strong, and has only released the Memorandum of Understanding.
When we find out what it is, you will too.
Now to the assistant coaches.
Per a public records request by SB Nation’s Richard Johnson and his kindness for sharing the documents, The Daily Stampede has obtained the contracts for multiple South Florida Bulls’ assistant coaches, including offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert, defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary, among others.
Late last week we caught wind that some of the coaches who came to USF after getting let go by Texas had more than two-year deals to coach the Bulls. Those coaches would be Gilbert, BJM, and offensive line coach Matt Mattox. TE/Special Teams coach Justin Burke has a rolling one-year deal at $100,000.
[Buyout figures below are based on 2019 contract at 20 weeks severance, which is likely how’d they’d pay it out.]
Sterlin Gilbert: Three-years, $600,000. ($400,000 in 2019)
The much-maligned playcaller initially balked at head coach Charlie Strong’s offer to become the OC at Texas prior to the 2016 season because Gilbert was worried about Strong’s job security. Gilbert asked for and eventually received a three-year deal from the then-Longhorns coach after some back-and-forth about the length of the deal.
Gilbert’s first two years at USF were subsidized by the Texas contract, which allowed for USF to only pay him $100,000 for 2017 and 2018. In 2019, his salary (along with the assistant coaches pool) jumps significantly to $400,000.
If USF were to terminate the contract, it would cost them 20 weeks salary, or $153,846.
Brian Jean-Mary: Three-years, $800,000 ($350,000 in 2019)
BJM turned around a horrendous defense in 2017 and while there were many bumps along the way in 2018, the defense showed marked improvement at the end of the year. Forget about the final two scores versus UCF. The team was following the lead of their head coach and gave up when they punted on fourth and 1 from their 43-yard line with 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
Without starting linebacker Nico Sawtelle for the last six games of the year, the defense was gashed for big gains, but played well enough against Temple and UCF to win those games. It’s clear the players love playing for BJM, and I don’t blame them. He’s very personable, open, and honest. Everything you need in a coach.
He only had one year of Texas buyout money (2017) and so he made $350,000 in 2018 as well. His buyout would cost $134,615 (and my support for USF).
Matt Mattox: Three-years, $500,000 ($300,000 in 2019)
Mattox is another Texas subsidy where he made $100,000 in 2017 and 2018 before his salary jumps up to $300,000.
Let’s time travel. Mattox and Gilbert by all accounts are best friends. It was reported that the duo were a package deal in 2016 to leave Tulsa to go to Texas. They were together at Eastern Illinois in 2013 under Dino Babers, Bowling Green in 2014 under Babers before going to Tulsa together.
Mattox moved former center Cam Ruff to right guard and started Michael Galati at center just three days before the season opener against San Jose State in 2017. The move lasted two weeks before Ruff moved back to center and Galati was never heard from again. The position group has shown no improvement in 2018.
His buyout is $115,384.
- Wide receivers coach Charlie Williams does not have a contract in place for 2019, yet. He’s been seen on the road recruiting though. His salary was $250,000 in 2018.
- Running backs coach Shaun King has a deal worth $180,000 through June 2020.
Coaches Who We Know the Amount, but Do Not Have The Contract:
- DB coach Blue Adams: $225,000 in 2018.
- DE coach Damon Cogdell: $140,00 in 2018.
- DT coach Sean Cronin: $200,000 in 2018.
- Safeties coach Tommy Restivo: $150,000 in 2018.
- Strength coach Pat Moorer: $300,000 in 2018.
The salary pool for the assistant coaches jumps up to $3.4 million for 2019.