Monday, December 11, 2017
Colleges

Texas to pay most of USF coach Charlie Strong's salary for first two years

Less than two months after the Big 12 jilted several schools including USF during its expansion fiasco, a degree of karma has kicked the league right in the wallet.

Courtesy of USF's contract with new football coach Charlie Strong.

The Bulls will pay Strong — dismissed as Texas coach in November after three seasons — only $1 million in total compensation for the first two years of a heavily backloaded five-year contract.

As a result, Texas still must pay Strong more than $9 million over the next two years. His deal with the Longhorns called for UT to still pay him slightly more than $5 million a year in 2017 and '18 but to receive an amount equal to half his annual compensation at any new job he landed during that period.

But because Strong's USF contract — released Tuesday upon a Tampa Bay Times public records request — pays him very modestly up front ($500,000 base salary plus $500,000 in other compensation in 2017 and '18), Strong still collects most of the money due him from the Longhorns.

Strong's annual compensation from USF jumps to $2.5 million in 2019 — after Texas' financial obligation to him ends — and increases by $100,000 each of the final two years.

Similarly, Strong's salary pool for his assistants begins modestly, at $1.66 million in 2017, but grows to $3.4 million by the contract's final year. Former coach Willie Taggart's staff salary pool was $2.5 million this past season but maxed out at $2.9 million in 2020, according to the contract he signed last December.

If Strong leaves for another job before Dec. 31, 2017, he owes USF a buyout of $2.5 million. That total dwindles to $1.7 million by the deal's last year.

If he's dismissed, USF owes him only his base salary over a 20-week period. If he gets another job before then, the school's obligation is mitigated based on whether Strong's new salary is higher (USF's payments end) or lower (USF pays the difference between the salaries).

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