Coach Bret Bielema’s Contract Finalized; Details Released

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The University of Arkansas released the details of head football coach Bret Bielema’s contract Wednesday, and the coach is set to make some big money if the Razorbacks perform successfully on and off the field. The contract was finalized last month.

Bielema signed a contract in late August to receive an annual salary of $2.95 million for six years, as his contract extends through 2018. Included in the contract are several possible incentive payments. For example, the coach would receive a $350,000 bonus for winning the college football national championship and would pocket an extra $100,000 for winning the SEC Championship game.

Appearing in any bowl game would give Bielema at least an extra $50,000, with the possibility of $100,000 if the team appears in the Capital One Bowl or the Cotton Bowl. Appearing in a non-title BCS bowl game would net the coach a bonus of $150,000, according to the contract.

Academic achievement incentives also made their way into the contract. If the team’s graduation success rate reaches at least 75 percent, Bielema would be owed an extra $100,000, while a 60 percent graduation rate would boost the coach’s pay by $25,000.

Getting out of the contract early would heavily cost Bielema or the university, depending on who severed the agreement. The coach would have to pay the university $3 million if he bails in the first year of the contract. That amount dwindles down over the years to $500,000 in the contract’s final year.

If the university fires the head coach, it would have to pay him compensation of $12.8 million in his first year. That number decreases over the course of the contract, and termination in his sixth year would net the coach $3.2 million from the University of Arkansas, according to the contract.

The contract also includes two loaned vehicles, a skybox suite and 20 tickets for each home game, and membership into The Blessings golf club and the Fayetteville Country Club.

The contract includes a clause saying the “coach shall exercise due care to avoid inappropriate involvement by himself or any individual under his supervision with non-employee ‘representatives of the institution’s athletic interests,’ which is contrary to the Governing Athletic Rules.”