Sumlin recieves new contract
UH football fans who watched the national coaching carousel heat up in recent weeks while wondering if head coach Kevin Sumlin would be the next to take a ride on the (un)merry-go-round can now breathe easier.
UH athletic director Mack Rhoades announced Monday a restructured contract extension that will keep Sumlin at UH through 2015.
The new deal includes $6.8 million in guaranteed compensation and several incentives based on wins per season and other accomplishments from the team.
The deal also calls for a $600,000 buyout should Sumlin leave prior to Jan. 2, 2013, a figure that decreases to $400,000 if he leaves between Jan. 3, 2013 and Jan. 2, 2014, and $200,000 in the ensuing year.
The buyout drops to $50,000 if Sumlin leaves between Jan. 3, 2015 and Jan. 2, 2016.
Sumlin, who made $700,000 last season, said Rhoades and UH President Renu Khator have played a major role in building a lasting legacy for the athletic program and in making his decision to enter a long-term agreement an easy one.
“There were key elements brought by the University administration and leadership that really speak to the future of not only the football program but the University of Houston. I’m excited to be a small part of that,” Sumlin said. “All of those things have brought us to where we are today, and, hopefully, those things will continue into the future. That all starts from the top, and that’s the reason I want to be here and look forward to great things in the future.”
One of those key elements involves a commitment to moving forward with stadium improvements, be they renovations to Robertson Stadium or construction of a new stadium.
Sumlin’s new contract calls for the buyout to decrease by $100,000 should UH not break ground on a stadium project by Jan. 3, 2011 and another $100,000 each year if the delay extends through Jan. 2, 2013.
If UH breaks ground between Jan. 3, 2014 and Jan. 2, 2015, the buyout would be only $100,000, and only $50,000 if construction starts between Jan. 3, 2015 and Jan. 2, 2016.
Rhoades said the unique inclusion of a timetable involving upgrades to facilities “simply says that we are making a commitment” and is integral to making all parties involved feel confident about the direction of the program.
“When you look to the future of our athletics program, there are some critical elements involved in it,” he said. “Kevin and continuity at the head coaching position is part of that. It is important that if we asked Kevin to be here, we need to show our commitment to upgrade facilities within the next three years.”
Under the terms of the contract, which still has to be approved by the UH Board of Regents, Sumlin is due $1 million per year for the 2010 through 2012 seasons and $1.266 million for the 2013 through 2015 seasons.
Should UH reach certain win thresholds, Sumlin’s pay would increase accordingly, with an increase of 5 percent for eight regular-season wins, 7 percent for nine and 9 percent for 10 or more wins.
Another incentive is a $200,000 bonus for Sumlin if UH participates in a bowl game.
Sumlin said he is excited to continue UH’s earlier progress.
“We have a lot more we can accomplish,” said Sumlin, who is 18-9 in two seasons at UH. “We are just getting started, and we love it here. My family and I love living in Houston. It is very exciting to be a part of this program that has an athletics director and president with such a vision.”