How Much Does It Cost To Replace A College Football Coach?

It’s been a big week around college football, especially when it comes to head coaches. Maryland fired Randy Edsall. Then USC put Steve Sarkisian on leave only to fire him 24 hours later. And then Steve Spurrier resigned.

And the search firms are foaming at the mouth . . .

There are all sorts of indirect costs related to replacing a coach, especially mid-season. Can you keep your fans interested and coming out to games for the rest of the season? Can your development team continue fundraising efforts when you can’t tell boosters who the next coach will be? There are disengaged assistant coaches looking for their next job. It’s a mess.

In the case of Maryland’s Randy Edsall there’s also expense involved with firing your head coach – to the tune of $3.1 million. Sarkisian was fired for cause, meaning USC is attempting to end the relationship without having to pay any buyout. And Spurrier’s situation is a little murkier. There was a clause placed in his contract at the time of his last extension that allowed him to continue on as a consultant to the president and athletic director upon retirement. This would include things like visiting booster clubs and participating in donor dinners. At the present time, it’s unclear if he will do those things and be compensated under the terms of his contract.

And then there’s the actual cost of finding and hiring a new head coach. One search firm tells me the average search costs $40,000 – but Texas spent $267,000 to vet and hire Charlie Strong.

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