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Colorado’s next football coach could make up to $2.5 million a year, a big jump in commitment from the $742,000 paid to Jon Embree. WTH!
Athletic director Mike Bohn said the school has not settled on an exact salary but is increasing its commitment to the program to lure a current head coach with a proven track record, of which the going rate nationally is around $2 million to $2.5 million annually. Bohn indicated he has a favorite in mind, whom he wouldn’t name, and has formed a list. Every candidate on the list is, or was recently, a head coach, some from the power conferences, he said. He again confirmed his interest in Jeff Tedford, fired recently at California after an 11-year run.
“The conviction for football has got to be escalated amongst all of our key players with that,” Bohn said at the news conference announcing Embree’s firing. “Our next head coach is watching. And they’re going to say: ‘How is Colorado responding? How are they going to do it? Are they committed to doing it?’ ”
The athletic department is receiving an influx of funds because of the Pac-12′s lucrative TV contracts. Colorado, in its second year in the league, will start receiving about $21 million a year in television revenue. The TV money is desperately needed. Colorado’s revenue from ticket sales dropped about $2.5 million this past football season, Bohn said, and another drop was projected next season if ticket sales continued to decline.
No front-runner has yet been identified. Two coaches known to be interested are Tim DeRuyter, who improved Fresno State from 4-9 to 10-3 and a share of the Mountain West title in his first year as a head coach, and Bob Stitt, who is 90-57 in 12 years at Colorado Mines. Neither, however, would seem to have the big-name impact Bohn is looking at, namely a proven track record at a major school.
The new coach will get a commitment from the administration unlike any coach the school has had, Bohn indicated. He hopes to make an announcement soon on a facilities upgrade that is expected to include a major football building beyond the east stands of Folsom Field.
“As we’ve looked around the Pac-12 Conference, everywhere we’ve gone we see the commitment,” Bohn said. “We see what we’re up against. The bar is raised high. It’s higher than it’s ever been. This is a monumental challenge for everyone.”
When asked if he’s giving the next coach things he didn’t give Embree, Bohn responded: “By no means are we saying that. The climate is changing. There’s more pressure to pull that together. The landscape has changed.” Bohn will use the help of a to-be-determined search committee to select the new coach.
The Buffaloes, coming off a 1-11 season, are a long way from reaching the Rose Bowl. The new coach will have 17 starters back, assuming no one transfers, plus the return of star receiver Paul Richardson from an injury. He will also inherit the worst defense in school history.