Word broke Wednesday morning that Louisville head coach Charlie Strong is set to receive an eight-year contract extension worth $3.7 million per year. In three years as head coach, Strong has guided the Cardinals to a 25-14 record, capped by Louisville's 11-2 campaign this fall which included a Big East title and a victory in the Sugar Bowl.
The extension instantly puts Strong among the highest-compensated head coaches in college football, and will make him the richest head coach in the ACC when Louisville joins in 2014.
Details of the contract were released Wednesday afternoon.
Conference championship or co-championship: $25,000
Bowl appearance: $308,333 (one month's salary)
Final Top 25 ranking: $25,000
Final Top 10 ranking: $50,000
BCS National Championship appearance: $50,000
BCS National Championship victory: $50,000
Big East Coach of the Year award (this will be hard for Strong to achieve once Louisville joins the ACC): $50,000
National Coach of the Year award: $50,000
Team GPA of 2.5-2.74: $25,000
Team GPA of 2.75-3.0: $50,000
Team GPA of 3.0 or higher: $75,000
APR of 950 or higher: $50,000
In all, Strong is eligible to receive upwards of $4.4 million including salary and bonuses.
The contract also includes several retention bonuses. If Strong remains at Louisville through June 30, 2015, he is in line for a $1.25 million bonus and a $1 million annuity to be paid once he reaches age 65. Strong will also net $1 million if he stays at Louisville through June 30, 2016 and $200,000 per year on June 30 of the two following years. Strong will also receive two comp cars, one month paid vacation, a golf membership at the Cardinal Club and another to-be-determined Louisville-area country club.
Louisville is providing heavy incentive for Strong to stick around. He will owe a $5 million buyout if he leaves in 2013, $4.375 million in 2014, $3.75 million in 2015 and dropping steadily to $625,000 in 2020.
Louisville is expected to field an elite team in 2013, and athletic director Tom Jurich is certainly paying Strong to keep it that way through the rest of the decade.
See the full contract below, provided by the Louisville Courier-Journal.