Wednesday November 29, 2023

College Football Coaching Buyouts Reach New Level With Jimbo Fisher Firing

  • Texas A&M has fired Jimbo Fisher after nearly six seasons with the school.
  • The move will cost more than $75 million, a record buyout figure.
Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
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Texas A&M’s firing of head coach Jimbo Fisher sets a new precedent for multi-million dollar buyouts in college football.

Just two years after giving Fisher a 10-year, $95 million contract extension, the Aggies are parting ways with the coach in a move that could cost up to $150 million. Fisher’s buyout alone will cost about $75 million and it requires that 25% of the buyout is to be paid immediately and contains no offset language — meaning Fisher will receive the money even if he ends up signing with another school, per Darren Rovell.

The university is also on the hook for the lucrative contracts held by many assistant coaches that will add tens of millions of dollars to the bill.

Fisher’s buyout was the second-largest in college football, behind only the $92 million it would cost the two-time defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs to part ways with head coach Kirby Smart. Fisher coached Texas A&M to a 51-10 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday, but his 6-9 conference record since the beginning of the 2022 season proved too much for Aggie stakeholders to ignore.

It will take eight years for Fisher to collect his full buyout. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Within 60 Days: $19.4 million
  • Within 120 Days: $7.27 million
  • 2025: $7.27 million
  • 2026: $7.27 million
  • 2027: $7.27 million
  • 2028: $7.27 million
  • 2029: $7.27 million
  • 2030: $7.27 million
  • 2031: $7.27 million

Michigan State parted ways earlier this season with head coach Mel Tucker, who had an $80 million buyout clause. The school is confident that they won’t have to honor his buyout due to the sexual harassment allegations that led to Tucker’s dismissal.

Previously, the most expensive buyout in college football history was Gus Malzahn, who received $21.5 million from Auburn after being fired in 2020.

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