Texas football coach Steve Sarkisian set to receive six-year deal worth $34.2 million

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas has shattered all records and athletics department norms with new football staff contracts that will pay out millions of dollars in multi-year guaranteed deals.

The University of Texas System Board of Regents is set to approve new football coach Steve Sarkisian’s six-year guaranteed contract worth about $34.2 million, a deal longer and more lucrative than what previous coaches Charlie Strong and Tom Herman received initially.

The Longhorns also will have two coordinators and a special teams coordinator making at least $1 million annually, totals once considered unbelievable and unreasonable figures for assistants but now are considered commonplace.

Sarkisian’s annual salary starts at $5.2 million for the 2021 season and escalates by $200,000 each year until topping out at $6.2 million in 2026, according to the information posted late Friday in the UT regents agenda.

UT regents must approve all multi-year contracts or contracts that go over $1 million in value. The regents are scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday.

All money used within UT athletics is generated mostly through TV revenue, ticket sales and private donations. No public money is used to fund any aspect of the Longhorns' athletics department.

Sarkisian’s new contract has all the typical perks that UT head coaches receive, like two courtesy cars, club membership, private airplane use and use of a suite on gamedays. He also will receive $250,000 in relocation and temporary housing allowance. 

Sarkisian’s deal also includes a “special one-time payment” of $1.2 million as a stay bonus on Dec. 31, 2024, something similar to what Herman had in his contract. 

Sarkisian also can receive a maximum of $675,000 in annual team performance bonuses, $100,000 for winning national coach of the year honors and $50,000 for being named Big 12 coach of the year.

EYE-POPPING NUMBERS:  USA TODAY Sports' football coaches salaries database

UT athletics director Chris Del Conte has wasted no time getting other contracts done. The regents are set to approve contracts for most of the football staff.

Defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski has agreed to a three-year deal worth $1.7 million annually, according to the regents agenda. Offensive coordinator Kyle Flood will receive a three-year contract that starts at $1.1 million in 2021, goes to $1,175,000 in 2022 and $1,250,000 in 2023.  

What will really raise eyebrows nationally will be Jeff Banks’ contract. The special teams coordinator and tight ends coach received a three-year deal worth $1 million initially that bumps up $50,000 the next two years to reach $1,100,000 in 2023. 

All of the UT assistants can receive up to 19% of their annual salary in team performance bonuses. 

Follow Brian Davis on Twitter @BDavisAAS.

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