Utah coordinator Morgan Scalley gets reworked contract, pay raise two years after suspension over racial slur

The “coaching-in-waiting” tag was not put back into Scalley’s contract, but his buyout is substantial.

FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019 file photo, Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley looks on in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Idaho State in Salt Lake City. Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley will remain on staff but will take a pay cut and must undergo diversity training after being suspended for using a racial slur in a 2013 text message. Utah announced Wednesday, July 1, 2020 that Scalley will participate in diversity and inclusion education and have his salary cut from $1.1 million to $525,000.(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

University of Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley received a significant pay increase and a substantial buyout in his restructured contract.

Scalley is now making $1.4 million a year in his three-year contract, making him one of the highest-paid assistants in the Pac-12. The new salary kicked in on March 1. The new deal was first reported by ESPN.

The deal is part of a rolling three-year contract that refreshes every Feb. 1 to keep the contract length at three years.

The pay increase comes two years after Scalley, Utah’s top assistant, was suspended for using a racial slur in a text message sent to a recruit in 2013. After an investigation in June of 2020, Scalley was reinstated but had his pay cut to $525,000 a year. In 2021, his pay was reportedly upped to $1.1. million.

After the suspension, his contract was also amended to take out a clause that would have made him the “coach-in-waiting” after 19-year veteran Kyle Whittingham retires.

This new contract did not put the “coach-in-waiting” tag back into the contract. However, the buyout language is so significant it may not matter.

If another coach succeeds Whittingham and does not retain Scalley, the defensive coordinator stands to receive $4.2 million from the university, per the ESPN report. If Scalley finds another job and is fired without cause, that buyout could be lowered in an offset clause.

Scalley has long been viewed as Whittingham’s successor, even amid the suspension. Scalley is a Salt Lake native and a former University of Utah football player.

He has been with Utah for nearly two decades. He was the recruiting coordinator from 2009-16, while also coaching special teams and safeties during that time. In 2016, he was promoted to defensive coordinator and has stayed there for the last six seasons.