UTSA Head Coach Frank Wilson enjoyed quite the ride over the past 12 months. In his first season as a head coach, Frank Wilson delivered the UTSA football program with their first ever bowl game appearance as well as hauling in a top-rated recruiting class. As first reported by Jim Vertuno of the Associated Press, Wilson will be handsomely rewarded for his success in his first season as head coach after UT’s Board of Regents rubber-stamps the paperwork.
Hey-O! UT-San Antonio football coach Frank Wilson getting raise from about $700k to $900k pending regents approval this week.— Jim Vertuno (@JimVertuno) August 21, 2017
Wilson was quite selfless in his first head coaching contract as he actually took a pay cut in his first season at UTSA. After making $660,000 in his last season as the running backs coach at LSU, Wilson was earmarked to earn just $650,000 in his first season in San Antonio before he increased his pay by reaching a few incentive clauses in his contract.
Per the agenda book for the August 23-24, 2017 meeting of the UT System Board of Regents, Wilson’s guaranteed compensation will start at $900,000 on September 1st and increase to $975,000 annually throughout February 28, 2022, an overall contract extension of two years.
This raise to a $900,000 annual salary makes Frank Wilson the third highest paid coach in C-USA but reaching any of his incentive benchmarks would allow him to jump David Bailiff’s $903,000 salary, making Wilson the second-highest paid coach in C-USA behind Lane Kiffin. While coaching salaries are always shifting, this pay raise brings Wilson into the high 60’s/low 70’s in overall FBS head coaching compensation.
From UTSA’s standpoint, fairly compensating Wilson was extremely important but restructuring Wilson’s buyout clause was of paramount criticality. As it currently stands, Wilson has one of the cheapest buyouts in college football that I’ve come across after scouring coaching salary databases.
If Wilson were to leave UTSA after this season then the program that hires him will only owe UTSA 75% of Wilson’s base salary for the year in which Wilson is resigning from his post at UTSA. This would amount to just $506,250 if Wilson were to depart from UTSA this season under his current contract. For comparison’s sake, UNT Head Coach Seth Littrell’s future employer would owe the Mean Green $1,000,000 if he were to terminate his contract with UNT this season. Additionally, the University of Texas paid UH a whopping $2,500,000 to buy Tom Herman out of his contract with Houston following the Cougars’ impressive 2015-2016 seasons.
Under Wilson’s new contract his future employer will owe UTSA $1,200,000 if Wilson were to leave before February 28, 2018. The buyout will decrease to $900,000 over the following 12 months, before further decreasing to $550,000, $250,000, and then $0 annually.
Wilson’s new contract also provides a new incentive target while removing one that was previously in place. If UTSA wins seven or eight regular season games Wilson will receive $25,000. Wilson’s previous contract had a fairly unreachable incentive that would reward the head coach $25,000 if UTSA’s average home game attendance was over 40,000. That incentive has been removed from this new contract proposal.
Overall, this contract seems like a great improvement for both parties. Wilson receives a much needed pay raise, two additional years under contract, and a great new incentive to target.
Likewise, UTSA fixed an egregiously bad buyout clause in the previous contract while also flexing their muscles as a serious spender in the college football arms race. Additionally, any concerns of UTSA’s new school president Taylor Eighmy being hesitant to invest heavily in athletics must be immediately squashed. While Eighmy will not officially begin his role at UTSA until September 1, it’s hard to imagine UTSA’s interim president Pedro Reyes and the rest of UTSA’s administration signing off on this contract without Eighmy’s verbal approval.