Cal football coach Jeff Tedford's proposed contract extension wasn't voted on by the UC Board of Regents on Tuesday, but it was released to the public, detailing that he is about to get a huge bump in pay to more than $4 million a year if he reaches outlandish incentives and fulfills the life of the deal. According to the contract, which is through 2013, "The maximum total potential payout under this contract occurs in year five in the amount of $4.285 million. Payment of this amount is dependent upon Mr. Tedford achieving all goals, including all those in the 'Accomplishments.' " The accomplishments include winning national championships and receiving national coach-of-the-year recognitions while keeping the team's cumulative GPA at 2.8 or better. Judith Hopkinson, chair of the UC Board of Regents compensation committee, said the committee discussed the contract for about 20 minutes Tuesday and the full board will vote on the contract Thursday. "He is an extremely valuable person to the university and the compensation is extremely high, but if you look at other NCAA coaches at universities with top performing teams, this is not out of line at all," she said. "The money that is being used is not state money or campus discretionary money. It will all be private money.
"The level of the compensation was certainly a matter of discussion. There were a lot of questions." To alleviate most of those questions, the initial contract terms are simple. Tedford's base salary would jump 34.3 percent, from $167,500 to no less than $225,000, and his "talent fee"' would get a rise from $1,332,500 to $1.575 million. The talent fee is widely believed to be funded by Nike, which provided Cal with its dashing array of uniform combinations last season. Market information submitted by the campus for Pac-10 head football coaches shows average base salaries at $306,451 and total compensation at $960,312. Notably, USC doesn't participate in the survey and is purported to provide potential compensation in the neighborhood of $3 million. Many observers wonder if Tedford really plans to stay through 2013. His name was mentioned often in connection with high-profile college and NFL vacancies during the past year, and he reportedly was contacted by the Atlanta Falcons, the Raiders and the San Diego Chargers. "Although there was great interest in Jeff from the NFL, his heart is really with the college game and, in particular, with Cal," Tedford's agent, Mike Sullivan, said in January, when the extension was agreed upon. "The retention-bonus concept has been preserved, but in a different form."
We finally know what that means. Tedford will receive a $1 million bonus if he is Cal's coach through the 2008 season, another $1.5 million if he finishes 2011 and yet another $1 million for completing the contract. He also gets a $1 million signing bonus. The bonus must be repaid within 60 days if Tedford doesn't complete the 2007 season. He has incentive for being the coach if and when the Simpson Student-Athlete High-Performance Center ($250,000) and the West Side improvements ($250,000) are completed. This encourages Tedford to help with fund-raising, but there isn't much of a penalty for leaving. If he terminates the contract before the expiration of the agreement and before the football program fully occupies the proposed High-Performance Center, he has to pay the university $150,000 for each contract year remaining in the agreement, and if he leaves after the team fully occupies the center, he has to pay $300,000 for each contract year remaining. He also agreed that he won't be employed by any Pac-10 school during the term of the contract. "There are advantages, psychological, emotional, to be associated with the University of California," Hopkinson said. "He will be able to oversee the building of a new team and also a new facility." Also, Tedford will benefit from a pool of money that isn't reported in the contract. According to sources, he has a nearly $500,000 pot for compensation enhancements for his assistants.
Tedford is 43-20 (.683) in five seasons, including leading the Bears to four consecutive bowl games for the first time in school history. He led Cal to a co-Pac-10 championship, a 10-win season and a 45-10 rout of Texas A&M in the Holiday Bowl in 2006. The team drew a top-10 preseason ranking last year and is expected to be that high again in 2007, with most of its top players returning. Staff writer Tanya Schevitz contributed to this report.
Terms of endearment
Some provisions in Cal coach Jeff Tedford's contract that has been submitted to the Board of Regents for approval:
Effective dates: Jan. 1, 2007-Dec. 31, 2013
Annual base salary: $225,000
Annual talent fee: $1,575,000
Retention bonus: $1 million if he's on the job through 2008 season, plus another $1.5 million if he stays through 2011 season, then another $1 million if he completes the 2013 season
Incentives: Each year, Tedford can supplement his income by: $150,000 for a national championship; $75,000 for winning or tying for the Pac-10 championship, or $50,000 for playing in a BCS bowl without winning Pac-10, or $25,000 for playing in non-BCS bowl game; $100,000 for being named national coach of the year; $25,000 for maintenance or improvement of team's academic performance
Construction: Tedford would get $250,000 if he remains until team moves into yet-to-be-built Simpson High Performance Center, and another $250,000 if he's there when the team plays a home game after West Side improvements are complete
Benefits: 20 vacation days, 12 sick days per year; standard health and welfare
Perks: Two courtesy vehicles; 30 season tickets and five parking passes; country-club membership; travel expenses for spouse to required events.
Maximum payout, Year 5: $4,285,000