Details of Kyle Whittingham’s 5-year, $22M contract extension

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SALT LAKE CITY — University of Utah football head coach Kyle Whittingham signed a contract extension last week, keeping the long-time coach with the program through the 2023 season.

On Monday, Whittingham’s contract was obtained by through the state’s open records law. His latest contract, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2019, and goes through Dec. 31, 2023, is worth a minimum of $22 million over the five-year period. This year, Whittingham is owed just over $4 million before bonuses and incentives.

With his latest contract, Whittingham breaks the Top 25 of coaches salaries nationally, according to a database maintained by USA Today.

Whittingham’s salary is broken up into several different categories, including a base salary; radio and television revenue; appearance fees, public speaking and fundraising; and official outfitter agreement compensation from Under Armour.

As such, Whittingham’s will make $1.3 million in base salary, with an increase in $150,000 at the start of the new year through 2023, for a total of $8 million over the five years. He will receive $1.1 million each season for radio and television revenue, with an increase of $50,000 at the start of the new year through 2023, for a total of $6.02 million.

Whittingham will also receive $1.14 million each season for a total of $5.67 million for appearance fees and $462,917 each season for a total of $2.3 million for Utah’s partnership with Under Armour. Should Utah receive an increase in its agreement with Under Armour or any future outfitter, Whittingham will receive an increase to his salary.

Beyond the actual salary, Whittingham receives several incentives for the program, which includes the following:

  • Bowl games: $400,000 if Utah appears in a New Year’s Six bowl or playoff game, or two month’s base salary (about $216,000) if his team makes any other bowl.
  • Win NY6 game: $100,000 if Utah wins one of the New Year’s Six games.
  • Pac-12 South champs: $100,000 if Utah is the Pac-12 South champ and appears in the Pac-12 Championship game, or $50,000 if Pac-12 South champ and does not appear in the championship game.
  • Top 25 ranking: $100,000 if Utah is included in the final Top 25 poll in any of the Associated Press Top 25, College Football Playoff rankings or the USA Today Coaches Poll, or $15,000 if Utah appears in any of the previously-mentioned polls throughout the season.
  • National Coach of the Year: $150,000 if Whittingham is named the National Coach of the Year.
  • Pac-12 Coach of the Year: $55,000 if Whittingham is named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, or Pac-12 Co-Coach of the Year.
  • Football budget: $25,000 if the football program stays within its budget for the year. Whittingham will get an additional $5,000 for every $50,000 under budget.
  • APR: Whittingham will receive one of the following based on his team’s NCAA Academic Progress Rate: $75,000 if the team’s APR is at least 980, $50,000 if at least 970, $25,000 if at least 960, and $10,000 if at least 950.
  • GSR: Whittingham will receive one of the following based on his team’s NCAA Graduation Success Rate: $75,000 if the team’s GSR is at least 80 percent, $50,000 if at least 70 percent, $25,000 if at least 60 percent, and $10,000 if at least 50 percent.
Whittingham also receives several benefits, including 50 percent tuition for college-aged children, (unmarried and under 26 years old), grandchildren and great-grandchildren through for life. Additionally, Whittingham gets two vehicles, equity membership in the Salt Lake Country Club and several season tickets to football and basketball.

If Whittingham leaves the program without cause, he is due $3 million for each year left on his contract, and $4 million if it's his final season. If he retires at any point during the five years of his contract, Whittingham must stay on as a “Special Assistant to the Athletics Director” for eight years starting on the day he retires. Under that new role, Whittingham would be owed one-eighth his contract per year.

This contract is the latest extension for Whittingham, who last signed a $17 million extension in February 2016. Whittingham has coached at the University of Utah for 25 years, and took over the top position on Dec. 8, 2004.

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Josh is the Sports Director for and beat writer covering University of Utah athletics — primarily football, men’s and women's basketball and gymnastics. He is also an Associated Press Top 25 voter for college football.


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