Franklin received $1M vow from UM

School would pay if he isn't chosen to succeed Friedgen

March 25, 2009|By Jeff Barker | Jeff Barker,jeff.barker@baltsun.com

COLLEGE PARK -Maryland has promised to pay offensive coordinator James Franklin $1 million if he is not named to succeed Ralph Friedgen as head football coach, according to a copy of Franklin's agreement with the university.

The contract, obtained Tuesday by The Baltimore Sun under a Maryland Public Information Act request, guarantees Franklin a five-year package worth at least the average paid to other Atlantic Coast Conference head coaches in the sport.

Maryland demonstrated its commitment to Franklin, 37, who had received at least one NFL assistant coaching offer, by agreeing to pay him $1 million should it "elect not to offer" him the position when Friedgen departs.

Friedgen's contract expires Jan. 2, 2012. If Friedgen remained, Franklin could stay as offensive coordinator or resign and collect $1 million.

The newspaper also received copies of Friedgen's contract and those of men's basketball coach Gary Williams and women's basketball coach Brenda Frese.

Williams' contract, amended a number of times, has been said by the university to be worth more than $2 million if he meets all academic and athletic incentives. Friedgen, 61, agreed to a new deal in 2004 guaranteeing annual compensation of about $1.5 million.

Frese, 38, makes $300,000 in base salary, her contract from 2007 says. It contains a number of possible bonuses - including more than $125,000 for radio and television appearances as well as payments for personal appearances, fundraising, team performance and graduation rate.

The contracts contain a number of potentially lucrative performance incentives based on how teams do and how athletes fare in class.

Williams - by coaching his team into the NCAA tournament - is likely to receive a one-year extension. His contract grants the extension when the Terps make the tournament, provided his players reach certain academic goals - which are well within reach - between now and the end of the academic year.

Williams' contract had 3 1/2 years remaining before Maryland got an at-large bid to the tournament March 15.

Williams' contract stipulates that - if he remains in his post through June 2011 - he be offered an assistant athletic director job when finished coaching.

Williams, 64, who has had a distant relationship with AD Debbie Yow, said this month that he plans to coach "as long as I am healthy and can have the energy to teach well at practice."

Williams just completed his 20th season as Maryland's coach.

Franklin, known for his recruiting and play-calling, was announced by Maryland as "coach in waiting" at a news conference Feb. 6. School officials declined at the time to disclose terms of the deal because of privacy considerations.

Franklin currently makes a base salary of $285,000. He gets $75,000 a year for fund-raising and $75,000 for radio and television appearances.

Franklin said yesterday that "some coaches feel like they have to coach in the NFL to feel they've made it. My ultimate goal was to be here" at Maryland.

Franklin's head coach option specifies that he receive a package "in an amount no less than the average paid to Division I-Atlantic Coast Conference head football coaches."

Top ACC football coaches make more than $2 million in salary and other compensation. Florida State coach Bobby Bowden makes $2.4 million, and Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson makes $2.3 million, according to a recent survey by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It said North Carolina State coach Tom O'Brien and Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe make closer to $1 million.

Like many college football coaches' contracts, Friedgen's and Franklin's are loaded with incentives.

Franklin gets a $40,000 bonus if the team's graduation rate is 86 percent or higher. He gets $50,000 if there are no arrests or university conduct code violations by offensive players or coaches. He gets $70,000 for a first-place finish in the ACC's regular season.

The football team went 8-5 last season. It began spring practices Tuesday with a younger team than last season's senior-dominated squad - six starters returning on offense and four on defense.

COACHES' EXTRAS

Here are some add-ons or performance incentives in the contracts of Maryland coaches:

* Gary Williams gets $300,000 from the university in the year beginning July 1, 2008, to make appearances on the university's behalf in connection with equipment or clothing worn by players.

* Ralph Friedgen gets $500 a month to lease a "late-model luxury automobile for his personal use."

* James Franklin gets six complimentary season tickets to home football games and four season tickets for men's basketball home games.

* Brenda Frese gets a $50,000 bonus if the graduation rate of the program is 70 percent or higher.

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