The biggest name new head coach in college football won't be coaching in the Big Ten, SEC, or any FBS conference next year. Deion Sanders is taking over HBCU program Jackson State.
Money is obviously not the main reason why someone like Deion Sanders takes a job like this. He is one of the greatest NFL players of all time, and has a very successful media career. This is obviously a passion move for him.
Thanks to college football writer Matt Brown, who runs the excellent Extra Points newsletter, we now know how much Sanders will make with the Tigers. He filed a public records request with the university, and it looks like Sanders will make a very competitive FCS-level salary. It will more than pay for itself with the amount of attention the JSU program is going to get with Coach Prime taking over, assuming some solid results follow.
Sanders is set to make $300,000 per year on his new four-year deal. The more interesting part of the contract come in the bonuses and other incentives in the deal.
Some of these incentives indicate a pretty bold program strategy for Jackson State, including a $100,000 incentive for the school if it moves on from the SWAC. Sanders will also receive a cut of ticket sales if the team sells more than 30,000 per game, something it was already doing before the high profile hire. Jackson State led the FCS in attendance last year. If the team sells over 10,000 season tickets, Sanders gets 10-percent of total season ticket revenue, which could be a very nice payday.
Other incentives, via Brown:
- $25,000 for beating an FBS opponent.
- $10,000 for a SWAC East title.
- $30,000 for a SWAC title
- $50,000 for a Celebration Bowl win.
As for Sanders' buyout, which is always one of the key pieces of any big coaching deal, here is the situation:
If the school fires Sanders without cause before December 15, 2021, they owe him the entire balance left on his contract. If they fire him after that, they owe him 12 months of his base salary, or $300,000.
Another major part, on Jackson State's side of things, is a promise to boost funding to "greater than at least 50-percent" of other SWAC schools. We've seen how vital a well-funded program, including good facilities and a competitively-paid staff is at all levels of college football. Sanders obviously felt like that was an important part of taking a job like this.
Considering Deion Sanders hasn't coached above high school before, and bringing a coach like that isn't designed to trigger a one-year turnaround, one would assume Jackson State is ready to give him at least four years to figure things out, unless it is an abject disaster. Hopefully it isn't, because if it works, it'll be a lot of fun to follow the Tigers for the next few years as long as Coach Prime is there.