New USF coach Jeff Scott agrees to five-year, $12.5 million deal

The former Clemson co-offensive coordinator must pay USF $2.5 million if he leaves on his own before Dec. 31 2020.
New USF football coach Jeff Scott receives a de facto $500,000 signing bonus on Jan. 17, 2020.
New USF football coach Jeff Scott receives a de facto $500,000 signing bonus on Jan. 17, 2020. [  JACOB KUPFERMAN | ]
Published Dec. 10, 2019|Updated Dec. 10, 2019

New USF football coach Jeff Scott has agreed to a five-year, $12.5 million deal with the school, and must pay the university $2.5 million if he leaves for another job before Dec. 31, 2020.

The “letter of offer” was provided by USF upon a public-records request. Scott will be formally introduced to the public on campus Wednesday morning.

A copy of the agreement can be seen here.

Scott, 38, who reportedly earned $1 million annually as Clemson’s co-offensive coordinator, receives a de facto signing bonus of $500,000 on Jan. 17, 2020, and $1.8 million ($500,000 base salary plus $1.3 million in “supplemental compensation”) in Year 1 with the Bulls. The supplemental payment, standard for Division I-A coaches, includes TV/radio appearances, fundraising, etc.

He’ll earn $2.7 million in the final year if he remains Bulls coach in 2024.

Additionally, the staff salary pool for Scott’s staff begins at $3.5 million and gradually ascends to $3.7 million. By contrast, predecessor Charlie Strong’s salary pool started at $1.6 million, according to the offer of employment he signed in December 2016, and would’ve topped out at $3.4 million at the end of the deal.

The ever-critical buyout clause ― the amount Scott must pay if he leaves on his own ― begins at $2.5 million in Year 1, and decreases only $250,000 if he takes another job before Dec. 31, 2021. It eventually decreases to $1 million in the final year.

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If he’s terminated without cause by USF, the school owes him only 20 weeks of his $500,000 base salary (pretty standard contract language) though it’s likely Scott has a private buyout arrangement with the USF Foundation similar to predecessor Strong’s.

As a direct-support organization, USF Foundation records are confidential and exempt from disclosure under Florida law.

USF is relieved from all payment obligations if Scott is fired for cause, the reasons for which are outlined extensively in a 300-word section of the agreement.