Photo Attribution:Emily Nielsen
I believe the kids these days refer to it as “stacking paper” and Gundy is about to be doing a lot of it.
Bill Haisten reported late on Sunday that contract negotiations were underway between Jimmy Sexton (Gundy’s representation) and Oklahoma State for a revised contract (Haisten pointed out he’s currently in year three of a seven year deal that pays significantly less than Travis Ford’s deal.
To me that’s where most of Gundy’s leverage lies. He can point to Gene Chizik and his one conference championship and laugh at the $3.5M he’s making. Or he can curve his visor towards Norman and peer in at the $4.08 Bob Stoops is being paid to finish in the top five of the Big 12. But all he really needs to do is jerk his thumb a few hundred yards to the east and ask, “how much am I worth compared to that guy?”
Ford is in year three of a ten year deal that pays him, on average, $2.03M per year to coach what has been, at best, a mediocre basketball team. Gundy’s current salary says that he is paid $2.1M per year.
The most staggering stat in that Haisten article is that home revenue for each football game has increased from $1.2M in 2005 to $3.2M this year, a 166% increase over that time. Obviously that has as much to do with Dez and Zac and Weeden and Blackmon as it has to do with the head ball coach, but just like somebody has to be the fall guy when things go badly, somebody has to get the credit when things go well.
College football’s upper echelon pay for head coaches is basically broken down into these three tiers.
The $4.5M+ Range
Mack Brown – $5.1M
Nick Saban – $4.8M
The $3.5M to $4M Range
Bob Stoops – $4.08M
Les Miles – $3.89M
Kirk Ferentz – $3.79M
Bobby Petrino – $3.64M
Gene Chizik – $3.5M
The $2.5M to $3.5M Range
Brady Hoke – $3.25M
Will Muschamp – $3.22M
Mark Richt – $2.94M
Steve Spurrier – $2.83M (not sure what the Augusta membership is worth)
Chip Kelly – $2.8M
Bo Pelini – $2.78M
Jimbo Fisher – $2.75M
Gary Pinkel – $2.7M
Bret Bielema – $2.6M
Dan Mullen – $2.5M
Then it falls off and you start getting into coaches who run the option and all kinds of weird stuff.
So where does Gundy fit in? It’s pretty hard to imagine little ‘ol #12 making more money coaching college football than Mark Richt and Steve Spurrier but it’s probably about to happen.
He has more wins than Farentz over the last the last five years, the same number of conference titles as Richt and Spurrier combined (1-1), and is 4-2 against coaches on this list since the beginning of last year.
He has become a premier coach in a big-time conference at one of the most unlikely destinations in the nation.
I think he probably falls at the top of list #3 in the $3.25M range because, let’s face it, this ain’t the SEC where the money flows like corruption from the mouth of Craig James. Boone’s money comes when Boone’s money comes, but you have to operate within the budgeted framework you were handed at the beginning of the year.
That’s one of the more fascinating things to me too. What is Boone’s role in all of this? Is he backing up the Brink’s truck to Gundy’s house off of Range Road? Is he texting Holder cryptic things like “that pond on #12 at Karsten sure is deep, Mike. Do the right thing xoxoxo”? Is he involved at all? Does he want to be involved all?
If I could step foot inside the situation for just a moment, I would want to know if Boone is there and what he’s doing.
It’s mildly troublesome that nothing has been inked and finalized yet, especially with Haisten reporting that Gundy wanted something done by the time bowl practice starts tomorrow. As the good fellas over at Cowboys Ride For Free pointed out today though, Holder has inexplicably backed himself into a corner that he didn’t need to go to and because of that (and the fact that he just took the Big 12 away from the Texas/OU juggernaut for the first time since 2003) Gundy will get what he deserves.
He might not get what somebody else in his position would get (because he loses leverage when he says things like “New York Yankees” and “I only want to coach 15 more years“) but I’m also not sure he really cares about what other people want.
The thing about Gundy from day 1 of his tenure at OSU has been that he’s never said “hey Texas is doing this, we should too” or “hmm USC does things this way, I think I’m going to start that.” He has very much built a culture that he (and OSU) can call his own.
One that has been curated and crafted into a cashflowing extravaganza disguised as an amateur athletics operation.
He knows this.
Holder knows this.
Boone knows this.
We know this.
Just pay the man his money.