ARDMORE — Bob Stoops joined college football’s rather exclusive $5 million club Wednesday, under terms of his new contract approved by the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents.
Stoops will clear $5 million in annual salary for the first time this year under a revised deal worth $39.9 million over the next seven years. The only other coaches to hit that annual mark are Nick Saban, whose latest contract at Alabama puts him at a reported $6.9 million, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and Texas’ Charlie Strong, both of whom will reportedly earn $5 million this year.
It’s rare air for Stoops, the Sooners’ 16th-year coach who was scheduled to make $4.95 million this season under terms of his former contract.
It also makes him the biggest winner among several OU coaches who were granted raises at Wednesday’s regents meeting.
OU basketball coach Lon Kruger received a new deal worth $17 million over the next six years, marking his first raise since taking over the Sooners in 2011. Kruger, who has exceeded expectations by guiding OU into the past two NCAA Tournaments, will earn $2.75 million this year, above the $2.3 million he was due to make under his original contract.
Under the revised deal, Kruger stands to make $3 million for the first time in 2019-20.
OU women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale also cashed in Wednesday. Her new deal pays $8.96 million over seven years, beginning with the $1.13 million she will earn in 2014-15.
Stoops’ new contract solidifies the strongest “front office” partnership in college football, a triumvirate that also includes OU president David Boren and athletic director Joe Castiglione.
“This is a great, great program, and I believe it’s because of the leadership, because of President Boren and his staff and Joe Castiglione and his staff,” Stoops said Wednesday. “And all of that filters down to what we’re trying to do with the football program. They’ve had great vision, great leadership, a willingness to make a commitment, to continue to improve …
“I feel incredibly appreciative and very fortunate and blessed to be in such a positive environment with great people.”
Boren said the trio has been together longer than any other team of a president, an athletics director and a head football coach in the United States
“We’ve been together 16 years now,” Boren said. “It’s been a fortunate, wonderful thing for the university that these two people (Stoops and Castiglione) have been here and we’ve been able to work together this long.”
Castiglione said Boren has supported the athletic deparment “from the day I stepped on this campus.”
“We’re very fortunate,” Castiglione said.
OU assistants also received raises Wednesday. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, signed through 2017, will make $850,000 this year. That puts him closer to the $1 million mark, a figure, according to the USA Today salary database, reached by only three college assistants in 2013 (Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis).
OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel, whose agreement is through 2016, received a bump to $605,000 this year. Co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell is the Sooners’ next highest-paid assistant. He’ll earn $455,000 this year with his raise.
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