Done deal: Bronco Mendenhall signs five-year, $6 million contract with New Mexico

May 24—Consider it done.

Nearly six months after he was introduced as New Mexico football head coach, Bronco Mendenhall signed a five-year, $6 million contract on Wednesday, per a copy provided to the Journal.

The Journal previously reported that Mendenhall had not signed his contract and was working off a memorandum of understanding signed upon his hiring on Dec. 5.

UNM Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez said Thursday that the initial delay was born out of the former BYU and Virginia coach's request to table contract discussions so he could focus on roster retention and the program as a whole during spring practice.

"We literally put it to the side," Nuñez told the Journal. "During spring (practice), his whole focus was trying to evaluate his team, trying to do what he can ... (since) it was over, we knocked it out."

In the meantime, Mendenhall's agent and legal representation worked with UNM on minor changes within the contract — the university's first for a head coach in a dramatically changed college football landscape — before it was signed this week.

"We had to navigate (contract) language and it wasn't anything (big) — it's just new things that are being done in the industry," Nuñez said. "So there were little nuances that we were able to kind of tweak a little bit here and there ... nothing major, nothing dollar-related."

Annual compensation and incentives

Similar to UNM basketball coach Richard Pitino's contract, Mendenhall's annual guaranteed salary of $1.2 million is split across three clauses, with $400,000 allocated for his base salary, $400,000 for media participation and $400,000 for program promotion.

Mendenhall's performance incentives remain unchanged from those agreed to in the term sheet he signed in December. The full list: — Mountain West Championship appearance: $25,000

Mountain West Coach of the Year: $25,000Mountain West Championship: $50,000National Coach of the Year: $50,000College Football Playoff (CFP) appearance: $50,000Non-CFP Playoff appearance: $50,000Each CFP Playoff win (including a first round bye): $50,000CFP National Champion: $100,000

Nuñez said UNM did discuss whether to include academic progress rate incentives due to changes in the college landscape affecting how integral APR is to an institution. In part because all of UNM's head coaches currently have APR incentives in their contracts, UNM decided to include it and would pay Mendenhall graduated sums up to $20,000 upon meeting stated APR goals:

Mendenhall is also set to receive a bonus split with the program if UNM sees an increase in base ticket sales, representing the program's gross ticket revenue minus UNM's single ticket sales from a home game against New Mexico State on Sept. 16, 2023: — $15,000 ($7,500 to Mendenhall, $7,500 to the football program's budget) for a 15% increase in base ticket sales — $25,000 ($12,500 to Mendenhall, $12,500 to the budget) for a 25% increase — $50,0000 ($25,000 to Mendenhall, $25,000 to the budget) for a 50% increase

Buyout information

One adjustment from the memorandum of understanding is the amount UNM would have to pay Mendenhall if he was to be fired without cause. From the contract:

100% of annual compensation (comprised of base salary, media compensation and promotion compensation) in year one100% of annual compensation in year two100% of annual compensation in year three70% of annual compensation in year four60% of annual compensation in year five

In the original term sheet, UNM was obligated to pay Mendenhall 100% of his salary for the remainder of his contract in years one and two; 80% in contract year three; 65% in contract year four; and 50% in the fifth and final year of his contract. Nuñez said the buyout percentages in the term sheet represented "minimum" figures, and that there was an understanding between both parties that they would increase in the finalized contract.

If Mendenhall were to get fired by UNM and hired for a coaching position with compensation equal or greater than that provided by UNM within the first three years of his contract, the university would be off the hook for further payments.

Unchanged were the figures Mendenhall would pay UNM if he were to terminate the contract:

$3,000,000 paid to UNM in year one$2,000,000 paid to UNM in year two$750,000 paid to UNM in year three$500,000 paid to UNM in year four$300,000 paid to UNM in year five

Additional perks

Mendenhall's contract also includes standard perks such as a "late model" courtesy car upon request, a country club membership, a $25,000 relocation allowance, up to eight tickets upon request for UNM men's and women's home basketball games and up to four for UNM home football games.