The terms of Bret Bielema's contract with Arkansas have been released, and while the numbers mark only a slight raise from what he made at Wisconsin, they are still enough to make him one of college football's top 10 highest paid coaches.
As Adam Mertz of the Wisconsin State Journal points out in referencing a story on the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's website, Bielema's $3.2 million contract that runs through 2018 makes him the 10th-highest paid coach. Salary information comes from USA Today's salaries database, which shows TCU's Gary Patterson just ahead of him with a $3.46 million contract.
If dissatisfaction over how he was treated at Wisconsin was indeed a significant motive for his departure, perhaps Bielema saw this top-10 status as a primary motivator.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article also has the more particular details of Bielema's contract:
- Bielema can make up to $700,000 annually in incentives.
- Those incentives include $350,000 for winning a national championship, $300,000 for finishing as the national runner-up, $200,000 for making the college football semifinals that begin in 2014, $100,000 for winning the SEC championship and up to $200,000 in academic-based achievements for his players. Bielema also earns incentives for BCS, Cotton and Capital One bowl appearances and individual awards.
- His initial buyout, which will decrease by $500,000 each year, is $3 million. Bielema cannot leave Arkansas for another SEC program.