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Schools Owe Fired CFB Coaches A Record $118M In Buyouts (So Far)

  • Fired college football coaches continue to earn record buyouts from top schools.
  • The 2023 season will likely be the most expensive ever, surpassing 2021's total.
Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

College football’s regular season is over, and the tab for fired head coaches keeps growing at a record pace.

After Indiana finished with a record of 3-9, the Hoosiers fired head coach Tom Allen, who agreed to a $15.5 million settlement. Houston ended the season with a 4-8 record and is firing coach Dana Holgorsen, who will receive nearly $14.8 million in buyout money.

Those two figures, which are worth a combined $30.3 million, take this season’s total amount of buyout money owed to coaches to more than $118 million — well past what was believed to be the single-season record of $94 million in 2021, according to Yahoo Sports.

Of course, the main driver of this season’s insane buyout figures is the $76 million Texas A&M will be paying to Jimbo Fisher, who was fired just two years after signing a 10-year, $95 million contract extension. 

More To Come?

Here’s how all the buyouts shake out for coaches who have been fired so far:

  • Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher: $76 million
  • Indiana’s Tom Allen: $15.5 million
  • Houston’s Dana Holgorsen: $14.8 million
  • Mississippi State’s Zach Arnett: $4.5 million
  • Syracuse’s Dino Babers: $4 million (estimate; private school)
  • Boise State’s Andy Avalos: $3 million
  • New Mexico’s Danny Gonzales: $400,000

The list could grow even further as the fates of other coaches on the hot seat are determined. 

Meanwhile, Michigan State would have owed fired head coach Mel Tucker $80 million in buyout money, but the school is so far off the hook for that sum because he was let go over allegations of sexual harassment.

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