FOX19 obtained a copy of the six-year contract that Luke Fickell signed to become the next head football coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats. The memorandum of understanding details how much Fickell will be paid in each season of his deal and also reveals some incentive-based pay.
In 2017, Fickell will make a $1.9 million base salary. He will then be paid $2 million and $2.3 million in 2018 and 2019, respectively, before reaching $2.4 million for the last three years of his deal.
Those numbers will likely (and hopefully if you are a UC fan) be higher each season as there are a number of performance-based incentives written into the contract. A New Year’s Day bowl appearance would earn Fickell $250,000 and any bowl appearance at all will yield $75,000. There are also smaller rewards for appearing in the College Football Playoff Top 25 ($50,000), winning the American Athletic Conference in the regular season or via the conference title game ($50,000), winning 12 games ($50,000), winning 11 games ($40,000), winning 10 games ($30,000), winning a bowl game ($25,000), being named AAC Coach of the Year ($25,000) and a few more.
By that count, in his first season Fickell could earn a maximum of roughly $2.5 million should he lead the Bearcats to a dream season that would include 12 wins and conference and national titles. That’s a pipe dream but perhaps making a bowl appearance or winning eight games, which both have incentives tied to them, is within range.
As far as job security, Fickell is likely safe for at least the next two or three years. His buyout for 2017 would be $3.5 million and drops by $500,000 each year after that. Ideally a buyout will never be needed but its something worked into the contract that will impact future decisions about personnel.