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Washington State Cuts Football Coaches’ Salaries Up to 10%

  • The football staff got pay cuts of 5% to 10%.
  • The athletic department is undergoing immense change as part of the Pac-2.
Washington State
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State reduced its football coaches’ salaries up to 10%, a move allowed by terms included in their contracts, the school confirmed to Front Office Sports.

University president Kirk Schulz confirmed the pay cuts to 247Sports last week, with the news dropping Monday. The pay cuts were announced to staff in mid-December, citing a part of contracts that allow for reductions between 5% and 10%, and occurred in mid-January, according to a Thursday article by FootballScoop. The correspondence to coaches called the reductions “​​necessary given the financial challenges facing our department,” per FootballScoop.

“We will not comment further on specifics as it is a personnel matter,” a spokesperson for the athletic department tells FOS.

Head coach Jake Dickert signed a five-year contract, making upward of $2.7 million in 2023.

The athletic department’s total deficit stands somewhere around $100 million (it had a reported deficit of $11.5 million in fiscal year 2023), and, last year, it announced a hiring freeze and pause of nonessential travel. The dismantling of the Pac-12 was not kind to an athletic department with its fair share of financial woes over the years.

One upcoming bright spot: The university and its Pac-2 comrade Oregon State settled lawsuits with the departing schools at the end of last year, which will forfeit a portion of the remaining revenue. The 10 schools on their way out will get revenue for this year, but the rest of the rolling NCAA media distributions will stay in Washington State’s and Oregon State’s control.

But without fully joining the Mountain West (football will play against Mountain West teams next season, and all other sports except baseball will be affiliate members until 2026) or any other conference, the two schools will miss out on the payouts from a proper media-rights agreement.

The conference is parting ways with commissioner George Kliavkoff on Thursday, with deputy commissioner Teresa Gould taking his place Friday.

The Cougars football team finished the season with a 5–7 record and ranked ninth in the Pac-12. In its final game of the season, it narrowly lost 24–21 to in-state rival No. 2 Washington, which lost to Michigan in the national title game.

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