More than nine months after he stepped off the plane in College Station and less than a week and a half before his first game, Jimbo Fisher has finally signed his contract as Texas A&M’s head coach. It took significant legal wrangling to get the signatures of Texas A&M president Michael K. Young, Texas A&M athletics director Scott Woodward and one John J. Fisher, Jr., but they’re all there now.
As originally reported, the deal is 10 years at $75 million. Fisher will earn a “base salary” of $500,000 with an annual “supplemental payment” of $7 million with standard benefits of a Power 5 head coach — two luxury cars, country club membership, up to $300,000 a year in private plane use. The incentives also aren’t particularly notable: $100,000 for reaching the SEC Championship, $200,000 for winning it, $1 million for a national championship. The Aggies front-loaded their reward in the form of $70 million in “supplemental payments.”
But there is one more eye-catching detail in this record-breaking 10-year, $75 million deal, published Wednesday by the Houston Chronicle.
If A&M fires Fisher without cause, the school would owe him the full remainder of the contract, with 25 percent due within 60 days, and he would get to keep every penny even if he took another job down the road.
And then there’s this: if Fisher sours on A&M, he can leave immediately with zero penalty. The legalese of Fisher’s buyout is basically, “We tried really hard to get you here and would be very hurt if you left, so please don’t.”
Obviously, A&M isn’t worried about Jimbo leaving for another job. No one else is giving him $75 million guaranteed. Texas A&M is totally pot committed to Fisher. So committed are the Aggies, in fact, that they don’t find it necessary he return that commitment at all, at least not in the form of a monetary buyout.
So if there are any other schools or Power 5 franchises thinking about coming after one of just four active coaches with an FBS national championship, well, there’s technically nothing stoping you.