After leading the University of Utah to its first Rose Bowl appearance, Kyle Whittingham is receiving a significant bump in pay.
According to a contract amendment obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune, Whittingham is set to make $6 million in 2022 — $4.5 million in base salary and another $1.5 million combined annually from Utah’s partnerships with Under Armour and Learfield. All told, that’s up about $400,000 from what he was guaranteed under his old deal.
And there are now newer and more substantial salary escalators in the contract, which runs through 2027. Whittingham will see a $200,000 increase in 2023, $300,000 more in 2024, and so on. In 2027, Whittingham’s base salary would top out at $6.5 million.
Should Whittingham coach through the remainder of the contract, he is guaranteed $32 million in base salary.
“Kyle Whittingham has elevated our football program to the highest levels of success, while also establishing a culture of excellence that prioritizes the academic achievement and overall development of our student-athletes,” Utah athletic director Mark Harlan said in a statement provided to The Tribune. “It is important that we continue to invest in our football program, and equip Coach Whittingham and his coaching staff with sufficient resources to be able to sustain success that ultimately benefits all of our athletics programs and our entire department.
“This is a commitment that recognizes what Coach Whittingham and his program have achieved, and reinforces our intention to build upon that success in the years to come.”
A slew of bonuses remain in the contract, maxing out at approximately $1.5 million, meaning Whittingham could wind up making north of $7.5 million in 2022. In 2021, including base pay and bonuses, Whittingham made $5.2 million, according to USA Today’s database of college football coaches’ salaries.
Whittingham’s contract also continues to guarantee him a role as “special assistant to the athletics director” if and when Whittingham decides to retire. According to the amendment, that role will last five years and will begin on the date of his retirement. That 5-year agreement will pay $995,000 for each year.
The amended contract also includes a one-time $100,000 payment to Whittingham if certain facility upgrades are not met by the department’s estimated deadlines. Two of those estimated deadlines are associated with a new $62 million football indoor practice facility, which is slated for completion in the fall of 2024.
Whittingham will begin his 18th season as head coach on Sept. 3 at the University of Florida.