Bowl season means coaches can cash in
’ Tis the season for holiday bonuses.
Bowl season often can mean big bucks for college-football coaches, and that’s no exception for the state of Michigan’s Division I bunch — well, most of them, anyway.
According to contracts reviewed by The News, at least two of the state’s Division I coaches stand to fare quite handsomely this month: Central Michigan’s John Bonamego and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio.
Interestingly, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is not due any bonuses for on-field performance — his bonus structure is tied only to Big Ten championships and College Football Playoff appearances — but he can take solace in knowing he’s already made $7 million in 2017, among the highest salaries in the nation.
Bonamego, who guided Central to an 8-4 season and an appearance in the Potato Bowl, already has secured $62,500 in bonuses for this year, and that includes a $30,000 retention bonus, $10,000 for beating a Power-Five team (Kansas), $7,500 for reaching eight wins and $15,000 for making a bowl game.
In his third season at Central, Bonamego, 53, can earn another $22,500 — $2,500 for getting a ninth victory, and $20,000 for winning a bowl. Wyoming stands in the way, in the Potato Bowl, Dec. 22 in Boise, Idaho.
Dantonio, who guided his Spartans to a stunning turnaround from 3-9 last season to 9-3 this season, receives $75,000 for getting Michigan State into the Holiday Bowl, set for Dec. 28 against Washington State in San Diego.
Interestingly, that money is set to be split up among Dantonio, his assistants and administration staff at the discretion of athletic director Mark Hollis, with input from Dantonio. Dantonio, 61, also is due $750,000 in retention bonuses for this calendar year.
Western Michigan’s first-year coach Tim Lester was denied some bonus money when his 6-6 Broncos were not selected for a bowl game, despite qualifying with the six wins.
Mayfield wins awards
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was named the 2017 Davey O’Brien Award winner Thursday night during ESPN’s college football awards show.
The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award honors the nation’s best quarterback.
Mayfield has thrown for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns with five interceptions.
Earlier in the day, Mayfield was named the Associated Press player of the year.
Tennessee has hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as its head coach. Pruitt replaces Butch Jones, who was fired Nov. 12 after going 34-27 overall and 14-24 in Southeastern Conference.
... Mike Riley, who was recently fired as Nebraska’s head coach, was named an assistant at Oregon State. Riley is Oregon State’s all-time winningest coach with 93 wins.