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Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

The $3 Million Difference; Gary Andersen's Winning, Bret Bielema's Banking

Former University of Wisconsin head football coach, Bret Bielema, raked in a healthy $5.13 million contract payment this past season.

The University of Arkansas lured the former Big Ten coach of the year away from the Badgers as UW watched their man tuck his tail between his legs and run for the big bucks in the SEC.

With their $3 million buyout of his past contract with the Badgers, along with his $2.9 million contract, it ranked Bielema as one of the highest paid professional in his sport.

Fools gold seems to be what Bielema’s found in the south while here in the homeland, the Badgers seemed to have found their man who even after a three loss season had attracted interview offers from a number of different universities and even a couple of NFL squads who thought Gary Andersen would be a good fit for their program.

Andersen’s contract sweetened after just one season at UW, but he still sits as only the 47th highest paid head coach in Division I. Bielema’s fat deal ranks him as the third highest, behind only Nick Saban and the former Texas head coach, Mack Brown.

With Brown stepping down as the Longhorns head hancho, it leaves Saban and lonely old Bret on top.

So what is worth $3 million to the Arkansas Razorbacks, exactly?

Here are some of the other sponsorships and contract incentives which the Arkansas faithful pledged to their new head guy.

  • $2.95 million per year salary
  • $12.8 million buyout in the first three years of the contract
  • $9.6 million buyout in year four
  • $6.4 million buyout in year five
  • $3.2 million buyout in year six
  • $100,000 for winning an SEC Championship
  • $350,000 for winning a National Championship
  • $300,000 for appearing in a National Championship game
  • $200,000 for appearing in a semifinal playoff game beginning in the 2014 season
  • $150,000 for appearing in a non-title BCS bowl game beginning in the 2014 season
  • $100,000 for appearing in the Capital One Bowl or the Cotton Bowl
  • $50,000 for appearing in any other bowl game
  • $25,000 for winning SEC coach of the year
  • $25,000 for winning national coach of the year

And in case you didn’t think that was enough …

  • The UA furnishing Bielema two loaned vehicles
  • An array of game tickets, including a skybox suite with 12 seats to all home football games and 20 complimentary tickets for each home game
  • Club memberships at The Blessings and the Fayetteville Country Club
  • The opportunity to conduct a summer football camp for private compensation using university facilities

No question that Bielema wants to win just as badly as anyone. But as the University quickly found out, he’s not the recruiting type players and their families have been turning to for insurance that their future is in the best interest.

Andersen has already proven that although he’s not getting the high-priced money of some coaches, he’s willing to put in the time and effort, off the field.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

His tactics and person-to-person skills already have set him apart from coaches that have come and gone at Wisconsin, and although he’s making far less ($2.12 million last season) he’s already made the impression that he’ll become worth every cent of tuition and booster money available in the near future.

Andersen got a big vote of confidence just a week back when the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents approved a new compensation package.

The incentive-laden deal calls for a salary increase to $2.2 million for 2014 with a $100,000 increase each year during the life of the five-year compensation package.


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Tags: Bret Bielema Gary Andersen NCAA Football Contracts Wisconsin Badgers Football

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