AUBURN — Seventy-five percent of Gus Malzahn’s new $49 million contract over the next seven years is guaranteed by Auburn University.
As a response to an open records request by the Montgomery Advertiser, Auburn athletics officials released the details Tuesday for the new contract extension given to Auburn’s head football coach, which was signed Jan. 26. The contract was signed by Malzahn, Auburn president Steven Leath and then-athletics director Jay Jacobs.
The seven-year deal runs through the final game of the 2024 football season and will see Malzahn’s salary increase by $100,000 based on $50,000 increment raises each year on both the coach’s endorsement pay and media/personal appearance fees.
He’ll receive $6.7 million this year, with his salary topping out at $7.3 million in 2024.
Malzahn’s salary will increase from the base pay of $4,725,000 from this past season. If Auburn wishes to terminate the agreement without cause following the 2018 season, the university will owe him $31.725 million. That doesn’t include the $6.7 million he’ll make for the season.
The buyout total will be 75 percent of whatever is left on the deal over the life of the contract. The buyout payment by Auburn would be distributed to Malzahn in five installments, with the first installment being worth 50 percent of the total buyout within 30 days of the termination.
If Malzahn gets another coaching job, his salary wouldn’t affect the amount owed in the buyout.
Under the previous contract, Malzahn was owed a prorated portion of $2,237,500 for each remaining year of the deal.
If Malzahn wishes to leave his position at Auburn before the end of the agreement, the buyout figure will decrease each of the first six years with the initial figure being $7 million before Dec. 31, 2019. The buyout figure for Malzahn to move from Auburn drops to $1 million if he leaves after Dec. 30, 2022.
The contract documents obtained by The Advertiser don’t specifically address an increase in the salary pool for assistant coaches or plans for the football-only facility both of which Malzahn has addressed with the media before officially signing the extension.
Malzahn, who has a 45-21 record at Auburn, had been the source of several reports regarding the opening at Arkansas. Malzahn is an Arkansas native and was a walk-on wide receiver for the Razorbacks. He also is a member of the state Hall of Fame after a historical high school coaching career.
“I'm happy at Auburn. We have great players. I love my players,” Malzahn said after a loss in the SEC Championship Game. “As I said before this game, we worked extremely hard to get here to this point, and we've got a very good foundation built, and I think the best is yet to come.”