LINCOLN — A recent history of annual addendums to the contracts of Nebraska’s assistant football coaches suggests that one-year extensions could be forthcoming by the end of next month.
Nebraska has amended the assistant coaches’ contracts in February for the last three years, each time extending the agreements so they extended beyond the next two football seasons.
The one exception is offensive coordinator Tim Beck, the only Husker assistant to have a contract that extends beyond the 2014 season; he’s signed until January 2016. All other NU assistants are under contracts that expire next January — at the end of the 2014 season — but that could be adjusted soon if history is any indication.
On Feb. 27, 2013, Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst formally offered one-year extensions to eight assistant coaches (not including Beck). Former Athletic Director Tom Osborne gave Beck a raise and contract extension in December 2012. Most other annual contract documents related to the assistants and signed by Osborne were dated in the month of February.
Eichorst, through a spokeswoman, declined an interview request for an explanation of the athletic department’s contract renewal procedures.
Nebraska pays nearly $2.7 million to its assistant coaches, the 23rd-highest total in the country and the third-most in the Big Ten, according to the most recent data compiled by USA Today. That doesn’t include a collective bonus pool that reaches a maximum of $772,479.
If the head coach were to ever be fired, the NU athletic department would be obligated to continue to pay the assistants a monthly installment of their salaries until their contracts ended or until they found another job.
Working under two-year contracts has grown in importance for assistant coaches around the country as they seek more stability in a profession where it’s often lacking.
Former NU secondary coach Terry Joseph, who accepted the same job at Texas A&M this week, declined to comment specifically on the effect his contract status with Nebraska had on his decision to leave for A&M.
Terms of his contract with A&M have not been released, but it’s anticipated that he will receive more money and a longer term. His 2013 salary at NU was $245,000 and he was yet to receive a one-year extension.
Current Husker assistant coaches have not been available for comment since December. NU head coach Bo Pelini’s next scheduled interview opportunity is his annual signing day press conference, set for Feb. 5.