Jeff Brohm’s Contract–How it compares to UofL’s personnel and the ACC

U of L Athletic Director Josh Heird, left, presented Jeff Brohm with a jersey after he was announced as the new head football coach at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky. on Dec. 8, 2022.Brohm08 Sam
U of L Athletic Director Josh Heird, left, presented Jeff Brohm with a jersey after he was announced as the new head football coach at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky. on Dec. 8, 2022.Brohm08 Sam /

Despite turning down the head coaching position at his alma mater in November 2018, Jeff Brohm decided it was finally time to come home to the University of Louisville. In December 2022, Brohm left Purdue University and signed a six-year, $36 million deal with UofL to become their next Head Football Coach.

The former Trinity standout previously played quarterback at the University of Louisville for Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger from 1989-1993. He then returned to UofL in 2003 and spent the next six years there as an assistant coach under Bobby Petrino and Steve Kragthorpe.

In 2014, Brohm went on to become the Head Football Coach at Western Kentucky, leading the Hilltoppers to 30 wins and just 10 losses during his three seasons at the helm. In 2017, he accepted the head coaching position at Purdue University, and managed to breathe life into a program that had not won more than three games in a season since 2012.

While in West Lafayette, he managed to reach a bowl game in four of his six seasons with the Boilermakers. His teams at Purdue also earned three victories over top 5 teams, a feat the University of Louisville has not managed to do once since 2016. Jeff Brohm would cap off his career at Purdue being crowned Big Ten West champions in 2022.

He now looks to bring excitement and enthusiasm back to a Louisville football program that has been stuck in mediocrity since the departure of Lamar Jackson in 2017.

Here we will take a closer look at Jeff Brohm’s contract and how it compares to other coaches in Louisville football history, and how it compares to other coaches in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Base Salary

Jeff Brohm will earn a base salary of $5 million dollars over six years, which increases every year by $100,000. The list below shows the former Louisville quarterback’s annual salary from 2023-2028.

  • 2023: $5 million
  • 2024: $5.1 million
  • 2025: $5.2 million
  • 2026: $5.3 million
  • 2027: $5.4 million
  • 2028: $5.5 million

Guaranteed and Potential Bonuses

During his time at UofL, Brohm will receive one-time payments at the end of each year as long as he is still employed with the university. These payments begin in 2023 at $500,000 and increase by $250,000 every two years through 2028:

  • 2023: $500,000
  • 2024: $500,000
  • 2025: $750,000
  • 2026: $750,000
  • 2027: $1 million
  • 2028: $1 million

As an additional source of motivation for Brohm, the University of Louisville chose to include several performance bonuses in his contract. Some of these incentives and their payouts include:

  • 6 wins/Bowl Game: $100,000
  • Tier 1 Bowl Game – NY6 or top-3 ACC Bowl partners: $200,000
  • Participate in College Football Playoff: $250,000
  • Top 4 seed in College Football Playoff: $400,000
  • Participate in College Football Playoff Championship Game: $500,000
  • NCAA National Championship: $750,000

The bonuses listed above are not cumulative. The highest level achieved will be the amount received. Brohm can also earn bonuses for winning the ACC or National Coach of the Year award from a major publication, participating in or winning the ACC Championship Game, winning nine or more games in a season, or having his team finish with a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or greater.

Contract Extensions

Brohm is eligible to receive up to a two-year extension with the University of Louisville, depending on his team’s overall success.

If the football team records seven or more wins (including bowl games) during Brohm’s tenure, the head coach’s contract will extend an extra year through 2029. If the team records ten or more wins (including bowl games) in a season, Brohm’s contract will be automatically extended through 2030.

His base salary in 2029 would be $6.5 million, and his base salary in 2030 would be $7 million. It is important to note that these base salary amounts do not include any guaranteed bonuses, potential bonuses, or other benefits offered by the university.

Termination Clause

A Jeff Brohm buyout is the last thing on anyone’s mind as the program anxiously awaits the start of what they hope is a perfect marriage. However, given the recent history of early contract terminations in the University of Louisville football and men’s basketball programs, it is especially important to consider how things would go down in the worst-case scenario.

If Jeff Brohm is fired without cause (as was the case with Bobby Petrino in 2018), he is owed 100% of his remaining contract. This includes his base salary amounts as well as his end-of-year payments. If Brohm is fired for cause, no buyout would be paid.

On the other hand, if Brohm terminates his contract and leaves the University of Louisville, he will owe the school $1 million dollars.

How It Compares With Other Louisville Coaches

In terms of annual salary, Jeff Brohm is now the University of Louisville’s highest-paid football coach in program history. He is also the second-highest-paid coach ever in the history of UofL athletics (trailing only former Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino).

To put things in perspective, former Louisville Head Football Coach Scott Satterfield earned approximately $3.5 million during the 2022 season with the Cards and is set to make about the same amount with the University of Cincinnati in 2023.

Meanwhile, former UofL head coach Bobby Petrino earned roughly $4 million in 2018, his final season with the Cardinals. Going back even further, the University of Louisville paid former head coach Charlie Strong a base salary of $3.7 million during the 2013 season.

Current Louisville men’s Head Basketball Coach Kenny Payne will take home $3.35 million during his first year, and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jeff Walz now earns a base salary of $1.7 million.

Louisville’s Head Baseball Coach Dan McDonnell collects around $1.3 million annually, and Louisville Women’s Volleyball Head Coach Dani Busboom Kelly makes roughly $400,000 each year.

How It Compares With ACC Football Coaches

Jeff Brohm’s salary with the University of Louisville seems to fall somewhere around the middle of the pack in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Unsurprisingly, Dabo Swinney is the highest-paid football coach in the ACC. In September 2022, Swinney received a massive new contract that will earn him $11.5 million annually through 2031, making him the second-highest paid coach in all of college football (behind only Alabama’s Nick Saban).

After finishing the 2022 season with an impressive 10-3 overall record, Florida State’s Mike Norvell earned a contract extension that will pay him an average annual salary of $8.05 million through 2029. Miami’s Mario Cristobal signed a 10-year contract with the Hurricanes in December 2021, earning him around $8 million a year on average.

Other ACC football coaches and their average annual salaries include North Carolina’s Mack Brown at $5 million, North Carolina State’s Dave Doeren at $5 million, Virginia Tech’s Brent Pry at $4.5 million, Virginia’s Tony Elliott at $4.3 million, and Georgia Tech’s Brent Key at $3 million.