published Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Contracts for UT football assistants include bonuses for success

Tennessee's head coach Derek Dooley watches his team as they play against Montana in this file photo.
Tennessee's head coach Derek Dooley watches his team as they play against Montana in this file photo.
Photo by Dan Henry.

KNOXVILLE — Tennessee enters this season with seven new assistant football coaches.

There's new bonuses and buyouts in their contracts as well.

The Times Free Press and other media outlets obtained copies of the signed contracts from UT on Wednesday afternoon through an open records request.

After missing out on bowls in two of the last four seasons, there's monetary incentives built into the coaching staff's contracts for bowl appearances. The assistants will receive eight percent of their total compensation for making any bowl game. That percentage jumps to 12 if the Volunteers reach the Chick-fil-A, Cotton, Outback or Capital One bowls.

If UT reaches a Bowl Championship Series bowl, the coaching staff would receive 16 percent of their total compensation. There's also four percent bonuses for appearing in the SEC championship game or winning the BCS title. Though the coaches can receive up to a 24 percent bonus, the maximum total bonus is $125,000.

In a shift from recent contracts, seven of UT's nine assistants would owe a buyout 33 percent of the total compensation during that year of the contract if he terminates the contract before it expires. This provision doesn't include tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Charlie Coiner, the only assistant to receive a one-year deal, or offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, whose most recent signed contract from last summer does not include a buyout. Defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri's payment is waived if he's named a head coach in college or the NFL.

If UT fires any assistants without cause, the university would owe the total compensation due on the remainder of the deal.

Sunseri was the lone assistant to receive a three-year deal, and his salary increases to $800,000 for 2013 and $850,000 for 2014. Safeties coach Josh Conklin is the only new assistant whose salary contains a built-in increase. He's slated to make $225,000 next year.

Though he's one of two assistants remaining from last season, Darin Hinshaw signed a new contract in March. After making $150,000 in 2010 and 2011 as UT's quarterbacks coach, Hinshaw's switch to receiver brought with it a raise of $75,000. He's also assumed the role of recruiting coordinator, and he'll make $250,000 in the second year of his new contract.

UT will spend $2.795 million on its nine-member coaching staff in 2012. Third-year head coach Derek Dooley is scheduled to make $2 million this season, the third in his contract that runs through 2016.

SALARIES FOR TENNESSEE FOOTBALL ASSISTANT COACHES

Coach ..................... Position ......................................... 2012 salary ....... Contract end date

Sal Sunseri ............. Defensive coordinator .................... $750,000 ........... Feb. 28, 2015 - 1

Jim Chaney ............. Offensive coordinator .................... $550,000 ........... Dec. 31, 2013 - 2

Sam Pittman ........... Offensive line ................................. $275,000 .......... Feb. 28, 2014

John Palermo .......... Defensive line ................................ $275,000 ........... Feb. 28, 2014

Charlie Coiner ........ Tight ends/special teams ............... $275,000 ........... Feb. 28, 2013 - 3

Darin Hinshaw ........ Receviers/recruiting coordinator .... $225,000 ........... Feb. 28, 2014

Jay Graham ............. Running backs ............................... $225,000 ........... Feb. 28, 2014

Derrick Ansley ........ Cornerbacks .................................. $200,000 ............ Feb. 28, 2014

Josh Conklin ........... Safeties ...........................................$200,000 ........... Feb. 28, 2014

1 - Sunseri was the only new assistant to receive a three-year deal.

2 - The most recent signed contract for Chaney is from last summer.

3 - Coiner was the only assistant to receive a one-year deal.

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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