• Comment

Tech agrees to big buyout in signing Kingsbury

Five-year deal is almost 90 percent guaranteed

Posted: February 19, 2013 - 8:23pm  |  Updated: February 20, 2013 - 1:27am
Texas Tech football coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Texas Tech football coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Get your A-J Media Digital Subscription now!
Get your A-J Media Digital Subscription now!


Texas Tech football coach Kliff Kingsbury signed a five-year contract Monday, one with a long list of incentives and substantial downside protection should his tenure not meet the high hopes the Red Raiders have for him.

The deal is worth $10.25 million and up to $3 million more if he can achieve all the bonuses laid out.

Of the $10.25 million, $9.15 million — or 89 percent — is guaranteed.

The Avalanche-Journal obtained the contract Tuesday in response to an open records request filed with Tech.

Kingsbury’s base salary of $300,000 per year, plus rights fees for guaranteed outside income, will net him $1.85 million in 2013, $1.95 million in 2014, $2.05 million in 2015, $2.15 million in 2016 and $2.25 million in 2017.

In contrast to recent Tech coaches, Kingsbury is guaranteed a big chunk of that should the university decide to fire him without cause — i.e., for an unsatisfactory won-loss record.

He would be due the full amount of remaining base salary and guaranteed outside income in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and 75 percent of the remaining unpaid base salary and guaranteed outside income for each of the 2016 and 2017 contract years. The contract says such a buyout is due “regardless of his employment status after termination,” meaning Tech still would be on the hook if Kingsbury were fired and subsequently hired elsewhere.

In the contract extension former Tech coach Tommy Tuberville signed two years ago, Tech’s buyout to fire him without cause was base salary of $300,000 times years left on the deal. In contrast, Tech would have to pay Kingsbury $1.6875 million to fire him with one year left on the contract, $3.3 million with two years left, $5.35 million with three years left and $7.3 million with four years remaining.

In the last contract that Mike Leach signed with Tech in February 2009, only $2 million of $12.7 million — less than 16 percent — was guaranteed in the event of a without-cause firing.

Tuberville owes Tech a pro-rated $931,000 for leaving of his own volition with three years remaining on his deal. If Kingsbury took another major-college or NFL job of his own accord, he’d owe Tech $1.5 million if he left after the 2013 regular season, $1.25 million if he left after the 2014 regular season and $1 million if he left thereafter.

Of course, Tech and Kingsbury are more interested in seeing what he can do over the next five years, and the contract spells out all sorts of provisions.

The contract gives Kingsbury “creative license in the design of the football team’s equipment and team uniforms.”

“Coach has sole discretion on deciding when the football team will wear specific uniform combinations,” the contract reads. “In the event Coach’s choice of the football team equipment and team uniforms exceeds the football program’s budget, Coach may seek donations for such purposes.”

The contract offers bonuses in 10 categories, including on-field performance, team academics and attendance at Jones AT&T Stadium. He makes an extra $50,000 if the Red Raiders’ average paid home attendance is 95 percent of the listed capacity of 60,454.

Kingsbury’s incentives for regular-season victories starts with $75,000 for eight wins and goes up to $200,000 for 12 regular-season wins. He gets $50,000 for leading the FBS in total offense or total defense or $25,000 for finishing second through fifth in those categories.

There also are bonuses for Big 12 Conference titles, bowl appearances, rankings, conference and national coach of the year awards and his players’ grades. A team grade-point average of at least 2.65 for a full semester nets Kingsbury $20,000. A team GPA of 3.0 or better is worth $30,000.

Kingsbury is limited to no more than $600,000 in bonuses for one year.

He was allocated $2.125 million to hire a staff, and the contract caps yearly increases on that pool to a maximum of 3 percent.

Kingsbury and his agent, Erik Burkhardt, negotiated the deal over the last two months. Tech hired Kingsbury on Dec. 12, at which time Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt said the two sides had agreed to a four-year contract worth $2 million annually.


To comment on this story:

don.williams@lubbockonline.com • 766-8734

george.watson@lubbockonline.com• 766-2166


Bonus schedule

A summary of the bonuses included in the contract of new Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Regular-season wins

■ 12: $200,000

■ 11: $150,000

■ 10: $125,000

■ 9: $100,000

■ 8: $75,000


FBS statistical rankings

■ No. 1 in total offense or defense: $50,000

■ Nos. 2 to 5 in total offense or defense: $25,000


Big 12 Conference title

■ Outright regular season: $200,000

■ Share regular season (win tiebreaker): $150,000

■ Share regular season/lose tiebreaker or runner-up: $100,000



■ Non-BCS appearance: $25,000

■ Non-BCS bowl win: $25,000

■ BCS (or successor) game appearance: $100,000

■ BCS (or successor) game win: $100,000

■ BCS (or successor) championship game appearance: $200,000

■ BCS (or successor) championship game win: $250,000


Final ranking

■ Top 25 in coaches, media, BCS or successor poll: $25,000

■ Top 10 in coaches, media, BCS or successor poll: $50,000


Big 12 coach of the year awards

■ AP or conference coach of the year award: $15,000


National coach of the year award

■ AP or ESPN national coach of the year: $50,000


Team GPA (based on scholarship players)

■ 2.65 or better for fall or spring semester: $20,000

■ 2.85 or better for fall or spring semester: $25,000

■ 3.0 or better for fall or spring semester: $30,000


Academic Performance Rating

■ Annual APR of 950: $20,000

■ Four-year APR average of 950: $10,000



■ Full-season average home attendance at least 95 percent of Jones AT&T Stadium capacity: $50,000


* May receive no more than $600,000 in bonuses for any one year.

  • Comment
Comments (9) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.

So, I wonder what his

salary and bonus will be in 25 years, when he becomes the Big12's career leader in coaching victories?!


Nothing Like Spending to Gladen the Heart

I am delighted to see the young man strike it rich. Whoever negotiated for TT is confident the new and untested model will last long. I hope Cliff is not the equivalent of the Edsel. If he does not pan out, a buyout option is essential and the next candidate comes with fanfare and hoopla. Away the Raider merrry-go-round turns and the circus is always open.



To have him as our coach. However, I'm guessing Tech can claim sovereign immunity and void the contract whenever they want, regardless of the stipulations of the contract. Go Kingsbury!


So exicted as everyone...

to have Kliff back.

Message to Kliff...

Keep a eye to the idiots of Hance and the Board of Regents. Their egos are off the charts.


Be careful

Very glad to see Kliff get hired and have a good lawyer, have to agree about Tech, dont trust them. Texas Tech has built its own reputation as not to be trusted,as far as contracts go, if anyone thinks for a minute that fans have forgot about the fiasco surrounding a certain coach being fired, your sadly mistaken,or the Billy Clyde fiasco also and the merry go round of coachs as of late.Having said that ,I truly wish Kingsbury the very best and Texas Tech athletics. just watch the soverign immunity clause pitfall.


I'd be smiling too.

If I could get such a sweet deal as an unproven performer. Should have penalties for poor academic performance, not just a bonus for adequate performance. Also should be penalized for every player who jumps to the pros before they graduate.


Leaving early

Why a penalty for a player going to the pros? Seems to me that means he recruited a good player?


Kingsberry will do fine and

Kingsberry will do fine and it appears he is surrounding himself with a good coaching staff. I would not enter into a contract with Tech unless Tech agreed in writing to not use the fact that they are a state university and hide behind sovereign immunity if they do not live up to the contract.


You have to bring this up.

Dear Kliff:

I have no doubt you are able to walk on water. Because you have saved us.

The post-detonation acid rain has stopped in Lubbock. The sky is blue.


As long as Hance, Scovell, Turner, White, Anders, and Sowell are running the deal; if you see Dicky Grigg in town at any time you must lock yourself in a bomb proof shelter. There's never been a contract The Fat Rats could not break--and Grigg is the hatchet man.

Can't wait for spring ball.

Go Tech.

Back to Top