Already the highest-paid football coach at a public university, Alabama's Nick Saban will make $6.9 million a year for the next eight seasons under a pay package unanimously approved Tuesday by the compensation committee of the University of Alabama System board of trustees.
Saban's base salary and personal-services fee will total $6.5 million each year, and he is scheduled to receive annual contract-year completion bonuses of $400,000. He will be able to add as much as $700,000 a year in performance bonuses.
In addition, the sides agreed that in each year in which Saban earns the contract-completion bonus, Alabama will put an extra $100,000 toward a $1 million scholarship pledge that Saban has made to the school.
Saban, 62, had been scheduled to make about $5.5 million for the upcoming season under a deal that had been set to run through Jan. 31, 2020. Saban is now under contract through Jan. 31, 2022.
If Saban completes the re-structured deal, he will make a total at least $55.2 million. If Alabama terminates without cause prior to the end of the contract, it would owe him no more than about $23.3 million.
DATABASE: Football coaches compensation
Based on recurring annual compensation, the new deal likely makes Saban one of the nation's most highly paid public employees as well as one of the most highly paid people in American higher education.
Alabama announced in December that it had agreed with Saban on a contract extension, but the details had not been made public, pending action by the board. At that time, Saban was being mentioned as a possible target for Texas, which eventually parted ways with longtime coach Mack Brown.
On Tuesday, the board also approved contracts and adjustments for Alabama's assistant coaches. The nine full-time, on-field assistants will earn just under $5.2 million, combined. That means Alabama will join LSU in becoming the first public schools with football assistant coaching payrolls in excess of $5 million, not including bonuses. LSU's assistants are scheduled to make a little more than $5.3 million.
Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart received a one-year extension through Feb. 2017, with no change to a salary that already was set to increase to $1.35 million from $1.15 million.
Barring changes to the contracts of other assistant coaches around the nation, that will the greatest amount a public school is paying to a football assistant for the 2014 season. Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis and LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron each are set to make $1.3 million this season.
Alabama's new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin was given a three-year contract that is scheduled to pay him $680,000 in each of the first two years and $714,000 in the third. New linebackers coach Kevin Steele was given a two-year deal worth $700,000 a year. New defensive line coach Bo Davis got a two-year deal worth $450,000 a year.
Among all public-school coaches, Saban's new annual compensation -- excluding bonuses -- will put him even further ahead of Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari, who is scheduled to continue receiving $5.2 million a year from 2014-15 through 2017-18, then increase to $5.3 million.
In two recent calendar years, Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has been credited with $7.2 million and $9.7 million, according to school tax returns. However, those figures take into account bonuses, various forms of deferred compensation and the value of all benefits. Kryzyzewski was credited with just more than $6 million on the school's new tax return that was released in May. That figured covered the 2012 calendar year and reflected a decline in his bonus pay.
According to a recently published survey of public-college presidents' pay by The Chronicle of Higher Education, then-Ohio State president Gordon Gee made a little less than $6.1 million in fiscal 2012-13 -- an amount that included more than $4.8 in severance pay and deferred compensation payouts and set-asides.
Brown made a little more than $5.4 million from Texas for the 2013 season. He has been replaced by Charlie Strong, who will make $5 million for the 2014 season, and get the benefit of Texas paying the $4.375 million buyout of his contract with Louisville.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin also will make $5 million in 2014, under a new six-year contract he signed this past December. That deal, unlike Saban's, is fully guaranteed.
Saban had been set to enter the second year of a seven-year contract that became effective Feb. 1, 2013. That agreement basically was a continuation of the deal Saban received the last time his contract was heavily restructured, in March 2012. Under the package he received at that time, he was in line to receive a total of just under $45 million over eight years that carried through to Jan. 31, 2020.
During the 2011 season, Saban's compensation from Alabama totaled a little less than $4.7 million.
Saban has compiled a 72-9 record in the past six seasons, including three Bowl Championship Series national championships in the past five. That gives Alabama more victories during those seasons than any other Bowl Subdivision team.
The Crimson Tide is 36-4 in the past three seasons, with a BCS bowl appearance at the end of each.
When Alabama concluded the 2013 season with losses to Auburn in its regular season finale and Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, it was the team's first back-to-back losses since the 2008 season. Prior to those two defeats, Alabama had been undefeated and ranked No. 1 throughout 2013.
The team routinely plays before home crowds of more than 100,000 at Bryant-Denny Stadium, which was expanded from a little more than 92,000 after the 2009 season.
According to the school's most recent financial report to the NCAA, Alabama's football program had $88.7 million in operating revenue during the 2012-13 fiscal year. That powered the Crimson Tide athletics department to $143.8 million in total operating revenue that year, the nation's third-highest total. Alabama's operating surplus for that year was $27.2 million – the nation's highest by about $3.6 million over second-place Ohio State.