The University put the finishing touches on its contract with head football coach Tim Brewster earlier this month, agreeing to a deal that could net the first-time head coach up to $1.7 million annually.
On May 9, University officials finalized the tentative deal that Brewster agreed to when hired in January. The contract will retain Brewster through the 2011 season.
Associate athletics director Tom Wistrcill said he felt Brewster received a fair deal, given the collegiate athletic market.
“Although he’s a first-time head coach, it’s still a very competitive salary on a national level for Division I-A football,” Wistrcill said. “He’s very excited about the contract and so are we.”
Wistrcill added that outside consultants aided the University in determining an appropriate salary based on other Division I coaches.
The base salary of Brewster’s contract is $400,000 per year with an annual review by athletics director Joel Maturi, at which time he could receive performance raises.
By comparison, former head coach Glen Mason’s base salary was $450,000 for 2006 and would have been $468,000 for 2007.
The deal, which puts Brewster about midway between the highest and lowest-paid coaches in the Big Ten in terms of overall compensation, offers him a chance to receive up to $700,000 in bonuses for athletic and academic performance.
Brewster will also receive another $400,000 per year from the University for media appearances, fundraising, community involvement and endorsements.
The University will give Brewster an additional $200,000 annually to a deferred payment fund, which he will gain full access to in five years after his initial date of employment, if he remains as head football coach through that date.
Dennis Coates, a professor at the University of Maryland who specializes in the economics of sports, explained that there is an extreme impact on supply and demand that drives up salaries in college athletics.
“There’s a very limited supply of people who have the skills for those activities,” Coates said, “and when people pay $50, $60 or $100 a ticket to go and watch them play, those players and coaches are in a position to make a lot of money.”
Coates listed several factors that contributed to the fattening of coaches’ wallets, the biggest of which was the rise of sports broadcasting.
“There’s been a huge growth in the broadcasting of sports which has in turn brought sporting events to a much broader array of people,” he said. “Now there’s a much larger fan base from which programs can pull much more money.”
Vladimir Makarov, an electrical engineering graduate student, said he felt that the compensation offered to coaches by universities is excessive at times.
“The way I look at it, I see sports as entertainment,” Makarov said. “Universities should be more focused on education and research.”
Brewster will get more than money for his time as head of the football program.
The contract stipulates that the University will provide Brewster with use of one stadium suite for each home football game, as well as covering travel and lodging expenses of Brewster’s family for away games.
Other perks include reimbursement for his household moving expenses in accordance with University policy and state law, as well as the use of one vehicle, to be provided by the University.
Brewster will also receive full standard benefits similar to those provided to all professional employees by the University, such as health and dental insurance.
Overall, Wistrcill said he was pleased with the way the University handled Brewster’s deal.
“We knew we’d pay what we needed to in order to get the coach we wanted,” he said. “Both sides are very happy.”