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Contract situations for potential Florida football head coach hires


Florida’s coaching search is likely drawing somewhat close to an end. With the regular season-ending after Saturday’s game against Florida State, athletic director Scott Stricklin will likely look to have the new hire in place sooner rather than later to help with recruiting ahead of December’s early signing period.

It seems as though Louisiana coach Billy Napier is the top target, and according to some reports, that negotiation process is pretty far along. However, if for whatever reason hiring Napier doesn’t work out, the potential field of candidates could get quite a bit wider.

We’ve written ad nauseam about the potential candidates for this job, but one thing we haven’t discussed is how affordable (or not) each of them is. With that in mind, here are the contract and buyout situations for each possible Florida target.

Louisiana coach Billy Napier

AP Photo/Brian Blanco

Contract: Five years, $2 million/year

Buyout: $3 million

The Skinny: If Napier is the top target, he’s affordable. Florida shouldn’t scoff at his buyout, which would drop to $2 million after Dec. 31.

Oregon coach Mario Cristobal

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Contract: Six years, $4.5 million/year

Buyout: $9 million

The Skinny: Cristobal triggered a $5 million option for 2026 by winning nine games this year, and his buyout is high but not prohibitive. The challenge would be convincing him to leave.

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Contract: Four years, $5.25 million to $5.75 million/year

Buyout: Undisclosed, but presumably around his salary

The Skinny: A Mississippi law prevents employees from signing contracts longer than four years, but Ole Miss gave Kiffin a raise after last season. The specifics of his buyout are unknown.

Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Contract: Six years, $3.4 million/year

Buyout: $3.5 million

The Skinny: Like Napier, Fickell has a manageable buyout as a Group of Five coach. He could be a candidate for another raise this offseason, though.

Iowa State coach Matt Campbell

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Contract: Eight years, $4 million/year

Buyout: $4 million

The Skinny: Campbell could be one of the top candidates outside of Napier, and he’d be very affordable for a Power Five coach.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops

Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Contract: Five years, $4.75 million to $6 million/year

Buyout: $1.75 million

The Skinny: Stoops’ contract increases in value over time, but his buyout is almost non-existent relative to the budget of a big-time athletic department.

Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Contract: Three years, compensation unknown

Buyout: Unknown

The Skinny: Quinn coaches in the NFL, which isn’t subject to public record requests, and therefore we don’t know his compensation or buyout. We do know it’s a three-year deal, however, and hiring him likely wouldn’t come cheap.

Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien

Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.

Contract: Two years, $1.1 million annually

Buyout: Unknown, but definitely not more than the value of his contract

The Skinny: It’s unclear exactly what his buyout is, but considering the value of his deal, it would certainly be negligible for Florida.

Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko



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