Blog Entry Our Choice # 3: The Financial Consequences of Firing a Head Coach

In today’s world of football, especially in college and the NFL many head coaches that are hired are given huge contracts and are expected to win right away. Those huge expectations from the fans, students, school administrators, and even media can be too much to handle for some coaches and at the end of the day it all comes down to results. I think that there is a clearer cut reason for why NFL coaches get fired and that is due to their lack of success. In the NFL, it comes down to wins and whether or not you can take the team to the next level. Coaches in the NFL realize that it is a business and many of them end up with jobs being assistants or coordinators for other teams. In college football however, there are more factors that can determine whether or not a coach is fired or retained. This includes fan support, attendance increases, and an increase in ticket sales and merchandise. One of the major factors is the financial consequences that the school has to face from terminating a head coach before his contract is up. With the amount of recently fired coaches in college football including Auburn’s Gene Chizik, Joker Phillips from Kentucky, and Derek Dooley from Tennessee, it is easy to see how important the financial aspect is in firing a coach. These coaches come from large revenue earning schools in perhaps the most competitive conference in college football that includes a huge television deal with CBS. Often times the school is required to pay the coach’s remaining  salary that he is owed as part of what is known as a buyout (Cirminiello, 2012). Essentially, the school is paying for the coach to leave. When you think about it, this actually does not affect the fired coach in a bad way considering that they still get paid. In some situations, if the coach violates their morals clause then the school does not have to pay them. Auburn was required to pay Chizik about $11 million in buyouts to the coaching staff, and Chizik would receive $7.5 million on his own and he had three years remaining on his contract (Longman, 2012). He was supposed to be paid about $208,334 a month for the next 36 months. As a student and also a fan of college football, I already think that the schools invest too much money in some of these coaches and when they are forced to buy out the coaches’ contract then that puts a dent in the university’s budget. It can also impact who the schools target to be the next head coach and the type of contract that they offer. Bobby Petrino is another great example and he was offered a $10 million dollar contract extension by Tom Jurich which he signed and then he proceeded to bolt for the Atlanta Falcons coaching position. It is a very risky decision to not only fire a head coach but to also hire one and sometimes athletic directors act prematurely based on early results.

 Longman, J. (2012, November 29). Firing a coach, at a price, with little evidence the move pays off. Retrieved from

 Cirminiello, R. (2012, October 29). Thought: Here come the fired coaches. Retrieved from




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