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USF’s Charlie Strong set to make $5 million this season

The beleaguered Bulls coach is due a $2.5 million retention bonus in 2019.
USF coach Charlie Strong talks with quarterback Jordan McCloud during the first half against Connecticut earlier this month. [MICHAEL DWYER | AP]
Published Oct. 22
Updated Oct. 22

TAMPA ― Thanks to a Year 3 bonus in his contract, USF’s Charlie Strong, whose 3-4 team appears to be a bowl long shot, will be the highest-paid Group of Five coach in 2019.

Strong will earn $5 million this season alone, making him the 16th-highest-paid coach in all of Division I-A according to the annual coaches-salary database released Tuesday by USA Today. His strength coach, Pat Moorer, earns $300,000 this year, also the Group of Five’s highest for that position.

Strong’s total includes a $2.5 million salary and a $2.5 million retention bonus payable in Year 3.

Former Bulls athletic director Mark Harlan confirmed the retention bonus upon Strong’s hiring, saying the money would come from athletic department-generated funds in an agreement with the USF Foundation, a school fundraising arm.

On Tuesday morning, the school confirmed that bonus remains intact.

MORE BULLS: Saddled with rookie quarterbacks, Charlie Strong challenges USF receivers

Strong led USF to a 10-2 record his first season, but the program is 10-10 since then, having lost 10 of its last 13 games. His five-year deal calls for him to make a $2.6 million salary in Year Four, and $2.7 in the final year.

In July, he purchased a $3.2 million home in South Tampa.

Terms of his buyout arrangement with the USF Foundation, a direct-support organization, are confidential and exempt from disclosure under Florida law.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls

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