Before the 2011 football season was played, West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen did not have a signed contract.
After the 2011 season was ended on the upbeat note that was the 70-33 thrashing of Clemson in the Orange Bowl, Coach Holgorsen still hadn’t signed a formal contract.
That all changed last Wednesday when the 41-year-old Holgorsen signed a six-year contract that will begin with paying him a prorated salary of $2.3 million for the 2012 season. When the contract ends following the completion of the 2017 season, Holgorsen will have been paid $20.5 million in salary and incentives.
In Holgorsen’s first season at WVU the Mountaineers finished with a 10-3 overall record, the last win coming in the avalanche of points against Clemson.
West Virginia actually finished in a three-way tie for the Big East Conference championship, but won the tie-breakers with the other two teams and was the league’s Orange Bowl representative.
Some of the incentives that can raise Holgorsen’s annual income will be a $100,000 raise after the second and third seasons and a $200,000 raise after the fourth and fifth seasons. He will have a $2.9 million salary for the 2017 season.
Holgorsen will also receive a $75,000 retention incentive every December 8. On March 1, 2013, he will receive a separate $50,000 retention incentive. On March 1, 2014 he will get another separate retention bonus incentive of $300,000.
Should Holgorsen leave before the contract runs its course, he would have to pay a $2 million buyout.
Other incentives built into the multi-layered contract include up to $600,000 for winning between 8-12 games, selling 34,000-38,000 season tickets, finishing first or second in the Big 12 standings, appearances and victories in bowls and BCS games, Top 25 and Top 10 rankings in the final coaches poll, a first-place or top-five finish in total offense, conference or national coach of the year awards, a team grade point average of 2.6, 2.8, or 3.0 or better and a team Academic Progress Rating of 930 or 950 or better.
Holgorsen’s nine assistants gain a guaranteed salary pool that will begin at $2.6 million. That pool will grow by no less than three percent every year and at least five percent if WVU plays in a bowl game.