Old Dominion and football coach Bobby Wilder agreed to a new five-year contract this week that will bring his compensation in line with the rest of Conference USA and provide cover for him and the school should they part.
Wilder, the Monarchs' only coach since the school resurrected football in 2007, also may receive retention and performance bonuses for himself and the program as ODU moves into the Football Bowl Subdivision.
The new deal replaces the 10-year extension he signed in December 2011, following the Monarchs' first season as a full competing member of the Football Championship Subdivision.
“I'm grateful for our leadership, that they would work to put together a contract that's reflective of being an FBS program and going into Conference USA,” Wilder said Tuesday. “When we made this move to go to the FBS level and Conference USA, part of stepping up to that level involved a lot of different things to do with the program, whether it be scholarships and staffing, and salaries was part of that consideration. This is part of that move. I'm really appreciative that our leadership would step up and do this.”
Retroactive to June, Wilder will receive a total compensation package of $425,000 for 2013-14, which includes a base salary provided by the university, supplemental private funds, and TV and radio appearances.
ODU athletic director Wood Selig told the Associated Press that Wilder was paid $400,000 this past season.
Wilder will earn $475,000 in 2014-15 and $550,000 in 2015-16. He will receive at least $550,000 in the final year of the deal. The contract also provides one-year rollover extensions, beginning in January 2014, until the deal concludes in December 2017.
Wilder's compensation package breaks down as follows:
2013-14: $210,000 base salary; $140,000 supplemental private funds; $75,000 for TV and radio appearances.
2014-15: $220,000 base salary; $180,000 supplemental private funds; $75,000 for TV and radio appearances.
2015-16: $229,500 base salary; $220,500 supplemental private funds; $100,000 for TV and radio appearances.
2016-17: Subject to review, with a minimum $450,000 in base salary and supplemental private income, plus $100,000 for TV and radio appearances.
“This new contract is more reflective of FBS head-coaching contracts, with respect to length, compensation and performance incentives,” Selig said in a statement. “This new contract positions Coach Wilder to be compensated very competitively among his C-USA head-coaching peers as we transition from FCS to FBS and C-USA.
“It also provides Coach Wilder and ODU with a measure of protection and stability during what will be a most challenging transition to the highest level of college football.”
The new contract also includes declining buyouts and settlement figures, should Wilder take another job or be fired without cause. If he takes another job by the end of 2013, ODU will be owed $1 million. If he leaves in 2014, that number is $800,000. It's $600,000 in 2015 and $450,000 in 2016.
If ODU terminates Wilder “without cause,” i.e., for win-loss record, dispute within the administration or reasons unrelated to personal or professional conduct, he is owed $1.8 million this year, $1.6 million in 2014, $1.4 million in 2015 and $1.2 million in 2016.
Wilder will receive a $25,000 retention bonus if he is still ODU's head coach on Jan. 1. A handful of incentive bonuses kick in next July, among them: $350,000 for winning the national championship; $100,000 for participating in a top-four playoff game; two months' base salary for participation in a BCS or top-tier bowl game; $10,000 for participating in the C-USA championship game; one month's base salary for winning the C-USA title; $10,000 for reaching a bottom-tier bowl game.
The school also will pay a “program bonus pool” in the event that ODU reaches bowl games or title games, which will provide a percentage of the entire assistant coaches' salary pool. Wilder may earmark those bonuses for assistant coaches or for other areas within the program.
“When you look at programs around the country that have gone from FCS to FBS, this is part of what happens,” Wilder said. “I don't think this is different in any form, whether it's a football program or whether it's a business, when you make that move to step up your level of competition, that's part of it.”
Though Old Dominion decided to move from FCS to FBS and Conference USA in a compressed, 6 ½-week time frame in the spring of 2012, school officials did copious amounts of research during that span. They looked at salaries, budgets and staff sizes at all C-USA schools to help determine what would be required in order to move up.
“I'm grateful that they did that,” Wilder said, “because that's allowed for us to analyze our program and compare it to the competition. I feel very comfortable that we're putting ourselves in a position to be competitive with the other schools in Conference USA.”
The Monarchs open at East Carolina, their first FBS opponent, on Aug. 31 as they transition to full Conference USA and FBS membership. They face five FBS teams in their transition season and play a full C-USA schedule in 2014.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun