Contracts reveal UT assistants' buyouts

UT unlikely to collect from Baggett, Russell

Charlie  Baggett

Charlie Baggett

Eric  Russell

Eric Russell

The timing of Charlie Baggett's and Eric Russell's respective departures will prevent Tennessee from collecting any sort of buyout money from the former assistant coaches.

How Baggett's is officially worded or negotiated will determine whether or not UT owes the wide receiver guru anything through 2012.

According to contracts obtained Monday by the News Sentinel, Baggett would have owed UT $187,500 had he terminated his employment before Dec. 1 and Russell would have owed $100,000 before the same date.

The News Sentinel requested all of the assistant coaches' contracts, many of which were amended throughout the offseason, in June. UT was unable to provide contracts for defensive line coach Lance Thompson and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon.

A source confirmed to the News Sentinel on Sunday that Russell had agreed to join new coach Mike Leach's staff at Washington State, though neither program has confirmed it. Russell's picture and biography were removed from UT's website Monday.

Baggett's exit was made official last Tuesday, the same day UT announced the hiring of running backs coach Jay Graham, but it was not specified whether he or UT was instigating the change. Sources briefed on the situation indicated it was the 58-year-old Baggett's decision to step down and that he planned to retire.

If that's the case, UT owes Baggett nothing and, because the departure was announced after Dec. 1, Baggett owes UT the same. But if Baggett was nudged out the door, UT would owe him the remaining salary left on his contract, which was set to end Dec. 31, 2012.

Baggett's contract does not include any mention of what were to happen if he retired.

Per an amendment to his contract, which was signed by chancellor Jimmy Cheek on May 2, Baggett would be owed equal, monthly payments of the sum of his base pay ($275,000 annually) and his "broadcast/endorsement pay" ($125,000 in 2011; $150,000 in 2012) through the duration of the deal if he were terminated. In his original contract, Baggett was only to be owed equal, monthly payments of his base salary.

In that situation, Baggett is "required to use his reasonable best efforts to mitigate the University's buy-out payment" to "obtain another comparable employment position." If Baggett obtained that comparable position, the amount of his monthly buyout payments from UT would be reduced "dollar-for-dollar" by the amount of his new average monthly income.

Justin Wilcox

Justin Wilcox

Harry Hiestand

Harry Hiestand

Jim Chaney

Jim Chaney

Darin Hinshaw

Darin Hinshaw

Terry Joseph

Terry Joseph

Around the same time Baggett had his contract amended, Russell, UT's tight ends/special teams coach for the past two years, had his original deal extended from the end of 2011 to 2012. Unchanged, though, was the date in which Russell would owe UT buyout money for leaving on his own volition.

Russell made $200,000 in 2010 and $250,000 in 2011. He was set to make $275,000 in 2012.

Also learned from the documents:

Shortly after defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox pulled his name out of the running for the same title at Texas last December, he not only re-negotiated a contract that was longer and paid him more money, but one that provided him with more job security.

If Wilcox were to be fired before March 1, 2012, UT would owe him $1 million. His original contract stipulated that he be owed $1 million if fired before March 1, 2011, and $500,000 before March 1, 2012.

If Wilcox were to be fired after that date but before the end of his deal, which runs through Dec. 31, 2013 — one year longer than he initially agreed to in 2010 — he would be owed equal, monthly payments of the sum of his base pay ($275,000) and his "broadcast/endorsement" pay ($425,000 in 2011; $475,000 in 2012; $525,000 in 2013) through the duration of the contract.

Wilcox, whose name has been linked in the media to a number of job openings — including the vacant head coach position at Arizona State — does not owe UT anything if he leaves for another job. His original contract stipulated that he owe the school $300,000 if he terminated the deal before Dec. 1, 2011— with the exception of leaving because he obtained a Division I head coaching position — but that clause was completely wiped out when it was amended in August.

Offensive line coach Harry Hiestand made $475,000 in 2011 but is set to earn $375,000 in 2012. When Hiestand joined the Vols in 2010, his salary was partially supplemented by the Chicago Bears, his former employer. UT paid Hiestand $200,000 in 2010 but covered all of the tab this year.

Hiestand's base salary of $275,000 will remain the same in 2012, but his "broadcast/endorsement pay" drops from $200,000 to $100,000.

In August, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney's contract was extended through 2013. He made $525,000 in 2011 and is scheduled to make $550,000 in 2012 and $600,000 in 2013.

Like Wilcox, Chaney would be owed $1 million if fired before March 1, 2012. The buyout stipulated in his original contract that he be paid the monthy rate of his base pay (275,000) times the remaining months of the contract in two installments.

Chaney does not owe UT anything if he leaves for another job.

Quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw — who is expected to move to wide receivers coach, according to sources — and secondary coach/recruiting coordinator Terry Joseph each had their contracts extended through 2012 during the offseason.

Joseph made $225,000 in 2011 and is scheduled to make $250,000 in 2012. Hinshaw made $150,000 in 2011 and is scheduled to make $175,000 next year.

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Comments » 65

ReverendOrange writes:

I need a buyout in my job.

ReverendOrange writes:

OMG! I was first!

pcorange writes:

Wish I had Chaney's buyout. I'd give my boss a good cussin'!

USMC_0311 writes:

Unbelievable. Did UT negotiate these buyouts or did Hamilton just sign off on whatever the guys wanted? It seems like they can leave for another job and we wouldn't owe them anything. But, if we let them go, we owe them a ton of money. Amazing!!!!

Classof72 writes:

You can't spell 'buyoUT' without 'UT'.

Those buyoUTs look smaller every day. They got paid to coach that Kentucky game? What for? Anybody can coach a team to qUiT and lose. For this level of performance, they should put the jobs out for bids, and let the team be coached by the lowest bidders. The result would be comparable, but the cost would be less.

I don't blame the coaches and players. Playing and coaching football is hard. What makes it worth watching is coaches and players who give it their all. If the coaches are in it for the money, and the players are in it to play pretend, fine. But why would anyone be expected to want to watch it?

VolFaninDC writes:

What if they tied their salaries not to tenure, but to job performance (graduation rates, positions success, etc) and/or football revenue?

givehim6 writes:

So with Baggett and Russell leaving UT on there own free will they owe UT nothing, but if they got fired UT owes them? Wow whom ever is wrighting up these contracts was napping in class.

VOL_MAROONED_IN_NC writes:

in response to givehim6:

So with Baggett and Russell leaving UT on there own free will they owe UT nothing, but if they got fired UT owes them? Wow whom ever is wrighting up these contracts was napping in class.

That would be, yet again, Mr. Mike Hamilton. It will take years overcome all the mistakes that clown made. If he had set out with the goal of destroying the UT men's athletic program he couldn't have done a better job.

WhatWhatWhat writes:

Chaney needs to go BUY him out today

rocky_topper writes:

You continue to learn more and more what an idiot Mike Hamilton really is/was! UT needs to learn to manage its finances and stop spending like donors will be there forever opening their wallets for them. Actually, I think donors are finally waking up.

huntined#565710 writes:

Chaney has to be the most overpaid coach in Div.1
no wonder he is so big that is a lot of burger and fries money there..only at TENN do they pay POOR PERFORMERS!!! These guys must have the best agents and lawyers in the country for them to get contracts like they have or TENN is just plain STUPID when it comes to contracts!!!

hueypilot writes:

So what do you expect when you've got smart agents and smart lawyers and smart coaches negotiating contracts that will pay money that directly comes to them and on the other side you've got managers, lawyers and administrators paying out somebody else's money, in this instance, money that comess not out of their pockets but from donors, ticket buyers and the University of Tennessee's budget.

Kinda like the way he government spends money in general. It's OJ's lawyers against some government stiffs. No contest.

rainbow6 writes:

There is ONE contract that is going to be contested in the very near future.
It is not a contract with a coach but with another member of the Athletic Department.
Stay tuned to learn just how and whether the Athletic Department and the new Athletic Director honor contractual agreements or----- not.

FearlessFreep writes:

Mike Hamilton: the gift that keeps on giving.

MikeTheManHamiltan writes:

in response to FearlessFreep:

Mike Hamilton: the gift that keeps on giving.

Everybody wants to talk about the bad coaches I hired, what about the FACILITIES?

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to FearlessFreep:

Mike Hamilton: the gift that keeps on giving.

EXACTLY!

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to VOL_MAROONED_IN_NC:

That would be, yet again, Mr. Mike Hamilton. It will take years overcome all the mistakes that clown made. If he had set out with the goal of destroying the UT men's athletic program he couldn't have done a better job.

Good point. I encourage everybody that's on twitter to check out Mike Hamilton's twitter: utadmike. It's like he's poking us in the eye. Last week he posted " Congratulations to my alma mater Clemson for winning the ACC and going to a BCS bowl game". Too bad he wasn't in charge at Clemson instead of UT. After USC beat Oregon, it was something like "Lane Kiffin is one of the best coaches in college football." It feels like being pepper sprayed. I had to unfollow the guy because I was afraid I might need anger management if I didn't. The guy has a complete lack of sports etiquette. And now we've got to deal with some terrible contracts, even the one that gave him the golden parachute for resigning. What a joke!

bigdisbig writes:

The UT Administration mirrors the United States Government. They hire the wrong people for the job, pay them more than they are worth and support them after they fire them. They also could care less what the people who support them (fans) think.

GreeneVol writes:

Ok so it's easy to sit here and say Hamilton was a dufus and put us in a bad position. But aren't these contract stipulations par for the course for being competitive in the coach compensation marketplace? Can anyone give actual examples of how other schools do it any differently?

Madkels writes:

in response to VolFaninDC:

What if they tied their salaries not to tenure, but to job performance (graduation rates, positions success, etc) and/or football revenue?

That would mean someone would have to use common sense (not much left in this world) and do what most business' do which is pay for performance.

But we have to remember that UT is a state university....gov't run, and we know how well government operates.

Exiled writes:

in response to GreeneVol:

Ok so it's easy to sit here and say Hamilton was a dufus and put us in a bad position. But aren't these contract stipulations par for the course for being competitive in the coach compensation marketplace? Can anyone give actual examples of how other schools do it any differently?

It wouldn't matter to these guys. If there were no contracts in place they would belly ache that we couldn't keep coaches. For people who know everything, you would think they would be out running a major college sports program instead of sitting at a computer typing assinine comments.

PHAT_VOL writes:

People complain about labor union contracts. This dosent even compare.
Mr. Hamilton What A GUY!!!

TommyJack writes:

in response to Huttdawg100:

Good point. I encourage everybody that's on twitter to check out Mike Hamilton's twitter: utadmike. It's like he's poking us in the eye. Last week he posted " Congratulations to my alma mater Clemson for winning the ACC and going to a BCS bowl game". Too bad he wasn't in charge at Clemson instead of UT. After USC beat Oregon, it was something like "Lane Kiffin is one of the best coaches in college football." It feels like being pepper sprayed. I had to unfollow the guy because I was afraid I might need anger management if I didn't. The guy has a complete lack of sports etiquette. And now we've got to deal with some terrible contracts, even the one that gave him the golden parachute for resigning. What a joke!

At the very least, he should change his twitter name.

thevoice writes:

Ya pay Dollar General prices, ya get Dollar General products.

Ayres_Hall writes:

This type of information (information that is way over the heads of the general fanbase) is just business in today's college sport's marketplace.

But is sure is fuel for the Miserables, huh?

underthehill writes:

in response to Classof72:

You can't spell 'buyoUT' without 'UT'.

Those buyoUTs look smaller every day. They got paid to coach that Kentucky game? What for? Anybody can coach a team to qUiT and lose. For this level of performance, they should put the jobs out for bids, and let the team be coached by the lowest bidders. The result would be comparable, but the cost would be less.

I don't blame the coaches and players. Playing and coaching football is hard. What makes it worth watching is coaches and players who give it their all. If the coaches are in it for the money, and the players are in it to play pretend, fine. But why would anyone be expected to want to watch it?

Good question.. The answer for me is ..I watch on TV and don't pay for a ticket. A better question may become ..who is willing to pay for a ticket to watch it? Scalpers beware...

underthehill writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Gross lack of foresight to extend Chaney's contract in March..can't blame this one on Hammy...

Hudro writes:

why all the automatic escalators in pay and nothing tied to actual performance?

boonhower writes:

Gym teachers making millions. Wow.

NYvolFan writes:

All these comments are great but what really irks me is that if Baggett stayed, we would have paid our "Receivers Coach" $425,000 next year. That is absolutely NUTS!

jt45 writes:

By the looks on their faces in the pics you tell they are thinking GOTCHA ! Seems like alot of money for what they achieved at UT so far, in fact most of us with real jobs dont have the luxury of getting paid to do nothing, but Chaney gets another free pass it seems.

Bubba_Knows writes:

Thank you Hammy!

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to MikeTheManHamiltan:

Everybody wants to talk about the bad coaches I hired, what about the FACILITIES?

You suck!

Willis writes:

262 DAYS TILL FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!!!!

UTKin1992 writes:

Hamilton was like the "easy" girl in school; Even the losers knew they could get a piece of the action.

VolsUpsetYetAnother writes:

If the recruiters dont sign at least two/three stud O-lineman buy them out too! Of the 20 commits we have there are ZERO O-lineman. The position that we need the most. And if you look at the studs still uncommitted out there (and there are over 50 of them) we have only offered two of them. What gives? Hello!?!?!

RoadTrip writes:

in response to GreeneVol:

Ok so it's easy to sit here and say Hamilton was a dufus and put us in a bad position. But aren't these contract stipulations par for the course for being competitive in the coach compensation marketplace? Can anyone give actual examples of how other schools do it any differently?

They can't and you are right. But people being people always want to offer opinions on subjects they know very little about. They get excited thinking about how witty they are.

Function of the marketplace regardless of whether the coaches were good hires or not. Virtually all of the better BCS schools have athletic budget revenues north of $50 million annually. They are big businesses that in some cases support whole communities. If you want to be on the map, you pay to play. The UT contracts are customary in the industry. If you don't do them you can't compete for the talent and again, it is without regard to whether the fans agree with the hiring decisions.

RoadTrip writes:

in response to VolsUpsetYetAnother:

If the recruiters dont sign at least two/three stud O-lineman buy them out too! Of the 20 commits we have there are ZERO O-lineman. The position that we need the most. And if you look at the studs still uncommitted out there (and there are over 50 of them) we have only offered two of them. What gives? Hello!?!?!

Nominated for the least informed and analyzed post of the day. Congrats!

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

in response to Willis:

262 DAYS TILL FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!!!!

Awesome post! Ha, ha!

wallingdad writes:

in response to Willis:

262 DAYS TILL FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!!!!

263 days until we start ripping the coaches (again)

givehim6 writes:

in response to VOL_MAROONED_IN_NC:

That would be, yet again, Mr. Mike Hamilton. It will take years overcome all the mistakes that clown made. If he had set out with the goal of destroying the UT men's athletic program he couldn't have done a better job.

Very true my friend.

born2ride writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hamilton killed UT basketball too.

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

in response to underthehill:

Gross lack of foresight to extend Chaney's contract in March..can't blame this one on Hammy...

Why not? He didn't leave his "post" until the end of June. This was probably his final nail in the coffin.

derainey36#303427 writes:

Stuck with Chaney for 2 more years?! If Dooley were a good coach he would be trying to get this
bozo fired.

kantanuuv writes:

in response to ReverendOrange:

OMG! I was first!

Fail.

You must be worshiping the wrong god.

arkyvol writes:

these kinds of swindles, er, contracts convince me of one thing: you could add jimmy cheek's i.q. to that of mike hamilton's and still come up short of three digits.

MemphisHog writes:

When Houston Nutt left Arkansas he was not owed a buy-out because he was leaving voluntarily. Our AD, in an apparent effort to keep things cordial and possibly avoid litigation, said at the press conference that UA would pay him his buy-out anyway. Little did anyone know that the very next day he would take the Ole Miss job (something we're all sure he already had lined up when he announced his resignation). So he got the buy-out money from UA and started drawing salary immediately from Ole Miss.

P.T. Barnum said there's a sucker born every minute. You don't have to look further than college football coaches and administrators for that statement to be proven.

Olcrow writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

RockyMtnVol,you are someone who actually gets it.Thank you for your post!

underthehill writes:

in response to Volunteer-Varmint:

Why not? He didn't leave his "post" until the end of June. This was probably his final nail in the coffin.

How much input did Hammy have after the basketball deal with Pearl? I thought Cronan was in charge at this point when the contract on Chaney was extended. I very well may be wrong..

VolsUpsetYetAnother writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Both ways?? What?? Just to be clear, I'm not saying the O-line coaches are good coaches. I'm saying we need to recruit more big bad arse O-linemen. We rank 116th in the country in rushing yards. And if you our any other jackA think that a player that signs with the university of TN (our ANY D1 program)needs to be coached on how to knock a guy off the line left, right or straight back your smoking crack! Talented O-line...right... This aint rocket science - blocking is blocking. Their just getting their butts knocked back because they cant cut it in the SEC. No matter who coaches them! Sure there are a few small details that a coach can help an O-lineman with but it comes down to WHO WANTS IT MORE. Just curiuos, but did you watch any of the games this year? Or where you too busy watching the cheerleaders?

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