Rhoads’ contract a done deal

AMES – Seven months after becoming Iowa State’s head football coach, Paul Rhoads has made his appointment official.

Rhoads put his signature to a five-year contract that pays him $5.75 million (an average of $1.15 million a year) over the life of the deal, according to a copy of Rhoads’ deal obtained Wednesday. He’ll make $950,000 his first season with a $100,000 increase each following year.

The coach had been working off a handshake agreement until this week.

Rhoads and Athletics Director Jamie Pollard each signed the contract Monday. ISU President Gregory Geoffroy followed on Tuesday.

Rhoads’ salary pales in comparison to his Big 12 Conference peers, half of whom earn upwards of $2 million in compensation annually. The league average for head coaches in 2009 is $1.8 million.

Only Colorado’s Dan Hawkins – at a reported $935,000 – earns less than Rhoads.

The first-time head coach has a base salary of $250,000 with additional guaranteed income amounting to $700,000.

Incentives could drive Rhoads’ total higher if he produces a winner.

Rhoads will receive $100,000 for every regular-season victory beyond No. 7 and would get that same amount if the Cyclones reach the Big 12 Championship game, win the Big 12 championship or are ranked in the top 10 of the final USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll.

He would earn $50,000 if ISU is ranked between No. 11 and 25 in the coaches’ poll.

An appearance in the Gator, Cotton, Holiday or Alamo bowls earns Rhoads $50,000, while playing in the Sun, Insight, Independence, Texas or another lower tier bowl would mean a $25,000 payment.

Rhoads also gets $25,000 for winning a bowl game or being named Big 12 or national coach of the year.

Other items of note:

— Rhoads will be provided a vehicle and membership to the Ames Golf & Country Club

— Rhoads and athletic officials will discuss an extension of the contract no later than 360 days before its ending date of Dec. 31, 2013.

— ISU will owe Rhoads $500,000 for each remaining year on his contract if he is fired without just cause. That shall not include “coaching decisions” consistent with his peers “win-loss record or public unhappiness with the win-loss record” or “other general displeasure at the direction or success of the football program.” Payment would be in a lump sum.

— Rhoads would have to pay ISU that same amount per year, up to a maximum of $2.5 million, if he accepts another head coaching job in college or the NFL.

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