Back in late November, coming off a 4-8 season, Illinois announced that they were extending the contract of head coach Lovie Smith. In three years leading the Illini program, Smith had gone 3-9, and then 2-10, before the 4-8 finish to 2018 for an overall mark of 9-27.
Smith was the first of eight FBS head coaches who have signed contract extensions this off season, and you can keep track of the latest here.
In the announcement that they were working on an extension for Smith, athletic director Josh Whitman noted the need for continuity to move the program forward:
"...we intend to send a strong message to current and prospective players and coaches that Illinois has a bold vision, needed stability, and a commitment from the highest reaches of the university to build a winning program.”
An article in the News-Gazette has the details included in the two-year extension, under both the new and the old deal, Lovie's base compensation will be $4 million per year for each year of the deal. The buyout was not changed in this deal for if the University chooses to fire Lovie in 2019 ($4 million) or 2020 ($2 million). In the new years his buyout drops to $1 million.
The News-Gazette noted the Trustees "had lots of questions about the buyout provisions, with some confusion about the timing of the contract years." "It feels a little convoluted, but it is the standard for the industry, and I have confidence in Josh Whitman's decisions," Trustee Stuart King said.
New salaries for the assistant coaches were also approved, the article points out.
- Offensive coordinator Rod Smith got a $200k raise from $500k to $700k and he is set to make $750k in 2020.
- OL coach Rod Smith will now make $375k
- WRs coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker will now make $335k
- RBs coach Thad Ward will now earn $315k
- Secondary coach Gill Byrd will now make $300k
- DL coach Austin Clark will make $275k
- TEs coach Cory Patterson will make $275k
- Strength coach Joe Boese will now earn $255k
Read the full piece here.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.