Greg Schiano was one signature away from officially becoming Tennessee's head coach

Dr. Saturday
Greg Schiano signed a memorandum of understanding to be the head coach at Tennessee, but the deal fell apart. (AP)
Greg Schiano signed a memorandum of understanding to be the head coach at Tennessee, but the deal fell apart. (AP)

If his agreement to become the head coach at Tennessee came to fruition, Greg Schiano was in for a significant raise.

Schiano, the defensive coordinator at Ohio State, signed a memorandum of understanding to become the Vols head coach on Nov. 26. The document was also signed by then-athletic director John Currie, but the hire was never finalized because the school’s chief financial officer, David Miller, and chancellor, Beverly Davenport, did not make it official with their signatures.

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Because Miller did not sign the document, it is “not legally binding on the University,” a school spokesperson said. Whether the Schiano camp challenges that in court remains to be seen.

(via The Knoxville News)
(via The Knoxville News)

(You can read the full document here, via the Knoxville News)

The missing signatures, plus the financial figures — $27 million over six years — of the agreement with Schiano, who makes $700,000 at OSU, were revealed publicly Monday following an open records request filed by several Knoxville-area publications. If it is determined Schiano was formally hired and fired without cause, he would be owed 75 percent of his contract, per his buyout arrangement. That figure would be more than $20 million if paid in full.

The Schiano hire fell through after a swarm of backlash from the Tennessee community online and on campus. The school later cast Currie aside in favor of former head coach Phil Fulmer, who hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt last week. Per, Pruitt is expected to make around $3.8 million per year, less than the $4.5 million salary that would have been owed to Schiano. The buyout figure is also different.


Pruitt’s incentive opportunities and camp compensation are nearly identical to Schiano’s contract. The buyout figures are a tad different though, as Pruitt has a starting buyout at $6 million that decreases by $1 million each year and Schiano’s buyout was initially $5 million and drops by $1.5 million and then $1 million over the remainder of the deal.

Pruitt is slated to slot behind Alabama’s Nick Saban, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Florida’s Dan Mullen among SEC head-coaching salaries. Butch Jones, who was fired by the Vols in November, had a $4.1 million salary for the 2017 season.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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