Geoff Collins’ contract averages $3.3 million annually

Records of recent Georgia Tech coaches in their first season on the Flats.

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins’ seven-year contract averages $3.3 million and begins at $3 million for the 2019 season, about $152,000 less than former coach Paul Johnson was scheduled to make in this coming season. Collins’ pay will increase by $100,000 over the life of his seven-year contract, finishing at $3.6 million in 2025.

Those are among the details of the contract that athletic director Todd Stansbury laid out in his offer letter to Collins, obtained through an open-records request. Both men signed the letter, which is considered a binding agreement.

Last season, eight coaches in the ACC made more than $3 million, including Johnson at $3.06 million, according to a USA Today database of FBS coaching salaries. N.C. State coach Dave Doeren made $3 million exactly and five made less, with Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson at the bottom at $1.8 million.

All told, the value of Collins’ seven-year contract is $23.1 million. It’s in the neighborhood of other coaches hired in the ACC this hiring cycle. Louisville coach Scott Satterfield’s reported contract is a six-year deal averaging $3.25 million. North Carolina coach Mack Brown reportedly has a five-year deal worth $3.5 million per year. Miami coach Manny Diaz’s deal reportedly starts at $3.1 million and is five years in length, with small annual increases. Brown and Satterfield have considerably more head-coaching experience than Collins’ two seasons at Temple, while Diaz is a rookie head coach.

Collins' contract is unusual in its length, however. Most contracts for coaches in new jobs are either five or six years. Stansbury granted Collins a seven-year deal because of the transition from Johnson's option offense.

If he were to be fired within the first four years, Collins would receive 100 percent of the remaining value of the deal. After that, he would receive $2.4 million for each remaining season. For example, if he were dismissed at the end of the fifth season with two years left, he would receive $4.8 million.

The offer letter also spells out Collins’ obligation to Tech to give the school prior notice before seeking, considering or applying for another job. If he were to leave, he would owe Tech a buyout through his fifth season, starting at $4 million in 2019, $3 million in 2020, $2 million in 2021 and 2022 and $1 million in 2023. The letter also stipulates that Tech will pay all of Collins’ $2.5 million buyout to Temple.

Collins would earn an additional $1.275 million if he were to hit all of his incentives in one season. The bonuses include $150,000 for winning eight or more regular-season games, $150,000 for winning the ACC championship, $50,000 for being named national coach of the year and $700,000 for winning the national championship.

Most of the clauses are similar to those in Johnson’s contract, although some payouts are greater in Johnson’s contract and others greater in Collins’.

Collins’ incentive for winning eight regular-season games is $150,000, for example, where it was $100,000 in Johnson’s. Collins’ contract has a $100,000 incentive for making it to the ACC title game, where Johnson’s contract had no such provision. Winning the ACC, though, would have meant a $200,000 bonus for Johnson, but a mere $150,000 for Collins. Winning a national championship was worth $250,000 in Johnson’s contract.

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