Gus Malzahn will make $11.5 million in salary over the life of his 5-year contract, according to media reports.
The $2.3 million salary is equal to what UCF paid Josh Heupel in 2020. When the job came open, we theorized that UCF would not be able to match what Houston ($3.8 million) and Cincinnati ($3.4 million) pay their respective head coaches, but we also specified they wouldn't need to -- albeit for a different reason.
Here's what we wrote at the time:
UCF, right now, can double what Louisiana paid Billy Napier in 2020. Think he’s picky now? Imagine how high his stock would be after, say, a 35-5 run in three seasons in Orlando. Think Blake Anderson wishes he might’ve waited a little while longer to leave Arkansas State?
In reality, UCF doesn't have to match Houston and Cincy because they don't have to.
Remember, according to the terms of the 7-year, $49 million extension he signed back in 2017, Malzahn gets to keep every penny of the $21.5 million buyout Auburn paid in firing him following last season. Half of that amount was due within 30 days, so Gus pocketed an $10.75 million check sometime in December or January, and then signs a deal worth another $11.5 million plus incentives in February.
Malzahn is eligible for an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses and has $3.3 million available to pay his staff, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
And, because we know you're wondering, in the event UCF fired Malzahn, the school would owe the coach 90 percent of the remaining contract should the separation occur before Dec. 31 and 70 percent thereafter. Should Malzahn move on to another job, he would owe $7 million before Dec. 31 and decreasing by year to $5 million in 2022, $3 million in 2023, $2 million in 2024 and $500,000 in the final year of the deal.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.