17 Mistakes College Assistant Coaches Make With Their Contracts, Part 2

Feb 20, 2012 | Program Development, Evaluations

By Mike Kuchar

Senior Research Manager

X&O Labs

Last week, X&O Labs published part one of a two-part installment on the 17 biggest mistakes college assistant coaches make with their contracts. We've sifted through the fine print, and examined the details of hundreds of contracts. Although the process may have been tedious, the results were rewarding. To us, there is no better satisfaction than helping you, our readers, discover new coaching trends and information that help you better your program and career.

We've surveyed college level assistant football coaches and interviewed coaching agents, attorneys and employment experts - including lengthy research with the founder of a prominent coaches representation company, Dennis Cordell of Coaches, Inc. We've found what we consider to be The 17 Biggest Mistakes College Assistant Coaches Make with Their Contracts. These mistakes are in no particular order.

Before we advance, if you have not read part one of this two-part research report featuring mistakes and solutions #1 through #9 – please click here to read part one – you can come back here and read mistakes and solutions #10 through #17.  Also, you can review the raw data - in the form of graphs - from our research of assistant coaches' contracts: Click here for the Statistical Analysis Report.

Mistake #10: Not Securing Performance-Based Bonuses

The Problem:

This, of course, was only a problem when coaches weren't pushing for it. NFL players often get bonuses for playoff appearances and personal productivityso why can't coaches? Previously, what may have been a case of "don't ask, don't tell," has now been brought to the forefront of negotiating.

The Solution:

The FCS (football championship subdivision, formerly D-1AA) teams have limited salary pools, but we've found establishing individual performance based bonuses beforehand are easier for Athletic Directors to sell to people across campus. "One of the problems in FCS is participating schools don't generate playoff revenues as FBS schools do with bowl games." says Cordell. "Although bowl bonuses are the norm in FBS, standard playoff bonuses for assistants are minimal to non-existent at the FCS level. If it was my client, I would ask for bonuses for common measurable achievements for his position group; such as rushing yards and RB all-conference honors for a RB Coach. You can also get creative, like having a bonus for losing less than three fumbles per year or averaging more than 5 yards per carry. This type of bonus money is easier for the school to swallow because it's validated with numbers and does not apply to every assistant on staff." Might as well ask, what do you have to lose?

Mistake #11: Allow Reassignment to Non-Coaching Position