Jake Elman (Palm Beach Post) — BOCA RATON — Six months after Lane Kiffin verbally agreed to a six-year extension to remain Florida Atlantic University’s football coach until 2027, the contract has officially been signed by the second-year coach, school president Dr. John Kelly, and athletic director Brian White.
And while the overall base figures aren’t eye-popping, it is loaded with incentives that will significantly boost Kiffin’s pay if he can repeat the success he had during his first season in Boca Raton.
The Palm Beach Post obtained a copy of the contract via a public records request.
Kiffin’s base salary at $950,000 will not change, though a retention bonus of $50,000 has been added to the contract. The new contract also provides incentives for FAU making the Conference USA title game ($20,000), losing the championship game but receiving an at-large bowl bid ($10,000), and winning the title game ($40,000).
The Owls won the Conference USA title game with a 41-17 thrashing of North Texas on December 2 at FAU Stadium. Later that month they demolished Akron 50-3 in the Boca Raton Bowl to cap an 11-3 season. FAU won nine games in the three seasons before Kiffin was hired.
In the case that FAU makes the College Football Playoff, Kiffin would earn an extra $100,000. Kiffin would be rewarded $1 million if FAU won a national championship, which is up from $700,000 in the original contract. Making the CFP semifinal game nets Kiffin $250,000 and making the title game, even if the Owls lose, is another $500,000.
Added bonuses could include:
• $50,000 for FAU ending the season ranked in the Top 25
• $100,000 for ending in the Top 10
• $1 million if FAU finishes three straight seasons as a Top 10 team.
Earning those bonuses is not as farfetched as it seemed when Kiffin took over the program. USA Today and Sports Illustrated ranked the Owls 17th and 24th, respectively, in the national polls they released last month after spring football practices ended.
Kiffin will earn an extra $10,000 if the football team finishes with an Academic Progress Rate of 940 or better and up to $250,000 if FAU finishes with a top 10 national APR for three consecutive seasons.
“I think (the talk of a new contract) shows a lot,” Kiffin told The Post on Dec. 18, a day before agreeing to the contract. “It shows where we are as a program, what the leadership of the university feels about us and the direction that we’re headed is great.”
In his first head coaching job in four years, Kiffin led the Owls to a turnaround season in 2017 for their first winning record since 2008. FAU enters the 2018 season on a ten-game winning streak and is expected by many to repeat as Conference USA champions.