Which Pac-12 coaches made the most in contract bonuses for 2022 season?

When football coaches get new jobs and change teams in the ever-churning coaching carousel at the college level, one of the most notable things that fans and media members often end up looking at after the hire is complete is the compensation that your school is giving up.

Sometimes it’s an astronomical amount, like Alabama’s Nick Saban, who reportedly made $10.95 million in 2022 alone. Other times it seems far more reasonable. Often, though, the base salary is just part of the overall contract, though. While many coaches work for an annual salary, there are almost always incentives and bonuses that come along if certain milestones are met. Those incentives can kick in if the team becomes bowl eligible, reaches a conference championship game, or sometimes even if they simply beat their biggest rival.

For coaches at public universities, this information is made known through records requests, but the same can’t be said for private universities. Now that the 2022 season is behind us, USA TODAY went through and tallied up the incentives and bonuses that were made over the last year, taking a look at which coaches made off the best when all was said and done.

Our eyes immediately went to the coaches in the Pac-12. Here are how the coaches out west fared when it came to contract bonuses.

No 1: Kyle Whittingham — Utah Utes ($650,000)

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Base Salary: $6.83 Million in 2022

Contract Bonuses

  • $275,000 for becoming bowl eligible

  • $100,000 for appearance in Pac-12 Title Game

  • $125,000 for appearance in New Year’s Six game

  • $125,000 for finishing in College Football Playoff Top 25

  • $15,000 for being ranked in AP Top 25 at any point of season

  • $10,000 for being ranked in AP Top 25 at any point of season

Note: Behind Jim Harbaugh and Kirby Smart, Whittingham made the most money in contract bonuses of any coach in college football.

No. 2: Dan Lanning — Oregon Ducks ($200,000)

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Base Salary: $4.6 million in 2022

Contract Bonuses

  • $100,000 for becoming bowl eligible

  • $100,000 for winning at least 9 games in 2022 season

No. 3: Jonathan Smith — Oregon State Beavers ($175,000)

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Base Salary: $3.25 million in 2022

Contract Bonuses

  • $50,000 for becoming bowl eligible

  • $50,000 for winning at least 8 games in 2022 season

  • $25,000 for winning at least 9 games in 2022 season

  • $25,000 for beating the Oregon Ducks

  • $25,000 for winning Pac-12 Co-Coach of the Year Award

No. 4: Kalen DeBoer — Washington Huskies ($100,000)

(Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

Base Salary: $3.4 million in 2022

Contract Bonuses

  • $75,000 for becoming bowl eligible

  • $25,000 for winning Pac-12 Co-Coach of the Year Award

No. 5: Chip Kelly — UCLA Bruins ($95,000)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Base Salary: $4.6 million in 2022

Contract Bonuses

  • $40,000 for becoming bowl eligible

  • $25,000 for winning at least 9 games in 2022 season

  • $10,000 for winning at least 8 games in 2022 season

  • $10,000 for winning at least 7 games in 2022 season

  • $10,000 for winning at least 6 games in 2022 season

No. 6: Jake Dickert — Washington State Cougars ($25,000)

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Base Salary: $2.7 million in 2022

Contract Bonuses

  • $25,000 for becoming bowl eligible

No. 7: Justin Wilcox — Cal Golden Bears ( $25,000)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Base Salary: $3.4 million in 2022

Contract Bonuses

  • $25,000 for beating Stanford Cardinal

Unknown: Lincoln RIley — USC Trojans

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The University of Southern California is a private school, so the contract details for head coach Lincoln Riley are not available to the public.

None: Jedd Fisch — Arizona Wildcats

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Base Salary: $1.8 million in 2022

None: Herm Edwards — Arizona State Sun Devils

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Base Salary: $3.9 million in 2022

Note: Edwards was fired after Week 3 of the season following a loss to Eastern Michigan. 

None: Karl Dorrell — Colorado Buffaloes

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Base Salary: $3.6 million in 2022

Note: Dorrell was fired after Week 5 of the season following a loss to Arizona.

Other Notables: Jim Harbaugh — Michigan Wolverines

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Base Salary: $10.1 million in 2022

Total Contract Bonuses: $2.5 million

Notable Bonuses

  • $1,000,000 for winning Big Ten Championship Game

  • $500,000 for making it to Big Ten Championship Game

  • $500,000 for making it to College Football Playoff

Note: Harbaugh was the No. 1 highest-paid coach in college football when it comes to contract bonuses in 2022.

Other Notables: Kirby Smart — Georgia Bulldogs

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Base Salary: $10.25 million in 2022

Total Contract Bonuses: $1.35 million

Notable Bonuses

  • $250,000 for winning National Championship

  • $250,000 for winning College Football Playoff semi-final game

  • $325,000 for making it to College Football Playoff

  • $200,000 for winning SEC Title Game

Other Notables: Mario Cristobal — Miami Hurricanes

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The University of Miami is a private school, so the contract details for head coach Mario Cristobal are not available to the public.

Other Notables: Andy Avalos — Boise State Broncos

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Base Salary: $1.475 million in 2022

Total Contract Bonuses: 105,000

Notable Bonuses

  • $25,000 for making it to Mountant West Title Game

  • $25,000 for winning Mountain West Coach of the Year award

  • $15,000 for becoming bowl eligible

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Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire