CHARLESTON, W.Va. – New West Virginia offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen's initial agreement with the school includes a salary clause in the event he becomes head coach a year early.
Holgorsen's 2011 salary of $750,000 would be prorated at $1.4 million for the remainder of the season if he becomes head coach before or during the season, according to his agreement.
The Associated Press obtained Holgorsen's term sheet through a Freedom of Information Act request.
His deal guarantees Holgorsen $10.75 million, plus incentives, through 2016.
Holgorsen was hired from Oklahoma State in December to become WVU's offensive coordinator this year, then take over for head coach Bill Stewart after the 2011 season.
Holgorsen will make $750,000 as offensive coordinator — only $200,000 less than Stewart's base salary. Holgorsen will be paid $1.4 million, plus incentives and bonuses, as head coach in 2012. That will increase $250,000 annually to $2.4 million by 2016.
Stewart chose to return for the 2011 season rather than resign under pressure at the end of 2010. If Stewart steps down before or during the 2011 season, Holgorsen would become head coach.
There's also a provision that if WVU receives sanctions in an ongoing NCAA investigation which accuses the football program of five major violations, Holgorsen can terminate the agreement if the school is stripped of at least 20 scholarships over a two-year period or receives postseason bowl probation for two or more years.
Athletic director Oliver Luck declined comment Wednesday on Holgorsen's agreement. Holgorsen was out recruiting Wednesday and didn't immediately return a telephone message left through a football spokesman.
When Holgorsen was hired, Luck made it clear he wanted the Mountaineers to become a national power.
There's plenty of rewards for Holgorsen if he is successful.
Both Stewart and Holgorsen have $25,000 bonuses for nine-win seasons. For three straight seasons under Stewart, the Mountaineers finished 9-4 and failed to earn a Bowl Championship Series berth.
Holgorsen's reward jumps to $100,000 for 10 wins, $125,000 for 11 wins and $200,000 for 12 wins. For reaching those plateaus, Stewart's contract called for bonuses of $50,000, $75,000 and $100,000, respectively.
If Holgorsen takes West Virginia to unprecedented heights, he's being offered the same incentives as Stewart — $100,000 for an appearance in the BCS title game and $150,000 for winning the national championship.
Holgorsen's other big incentives include $100,000 for a Big East outright championship ($25,000 more than Stewart); $75,000 for a BCS appearance and $50,000 for a BCS win. Stewart's contract only stipulated a $75,000 reward for a BCS appearance.
Holgorsen's incentives are capped at $600,000 per year. WVU also allotted him $1 million in 2011 to pay his four offensive assistants, three of whom he hired.
West Virginia isn't so adamant in monetary terms about retaining Holgorsen as it was with Rich Rodriguez, WVU's successful coach from 2001-07.
Rodriguez, whose compensation package was $1.78 million for the 2007 season, left for Michigan in December 2007 and had a $4 million buyout clause in his WVU contract. Michigan paid the first $2.5 million of the settlement and Rodriguez is paying the rest in three annual installments.
Stewart's original contract had a $1 million buyout clause.
Aside from the NCAA investigation, if Holgorsen takes a job somewhere else, he'll have to pay WVU $2 million if he leaves before Dec. 8, 2012. That drops to $1.5 million if he leaves before Dec. 8, 2014, and $1 million after that.
Holgorsen will be supplied with a suite at WVU home games if it's available. If not, he'll be allotted 25 premium tickets, five more than Stewart.
Like Stewart, Holgorsen will be allowed the use of two courtesy cars and a country club membership.
Stewart, who signed an amended contract in November, will earn $950,000 next season, receive a $750,000 buyout, plus make $375,000 in an undisclosed job over 30 months with the university after he steps down.
Holgorsen hasn't signed a more complete contract yet because some details need to be ironed out. By comparison, Stewart's original contract wasn't completed until eight months after he was hired following the Fiesta Bowl in January 2008.