Coach Blake Anderson’s Contract with Utah State

What a season and what a turnaround for the Utah State football program! From a team that ended the 2020 season with the players jointly deciding to forfeit their final game, to a team that tied the Utah State record of 11 wins in a single season while claiming Utah State’s first ever Mountain West Championship. The season capped off with a convincing Jimmy Kimmel Bowl victory over the Oregon State Beavers, the second PAC-12 team to fall to the Aggies in the 2021 Season.

Coach Blake Anderson hoists the 2021 Mountain West Conference Championship Trophy

So what changed that could have led to such a drastic turnaround? The most notable change was the hiring of Coach Blake Anderson. It was recently reported that Coach Anderson has received a 2 year extension to his initial contract with Utah State. USUStats has requested a copy of this contract extension, but has been informed that it is not yet complete and signed, but should be available soon (check back later for more). In the meantime, we have obtained Coach Anderson’s initial contract and will break down the notable details below. The full official contract can be downloaded here.

Main takeaways from the initial contract:

Base Pay (including $400,000 for media appearances per year):

Year 1 – $1,057,692
Year 2 – $1,025,000
Year 3 – $1,050,000
Year 4 – $1,075,000
Year 5 – $1,100,000

The base contract is $1M per year with an increase in pay of $25,000 per year. In Year 1, coach received some pro-rated pay by being hired in late December which pushed the amount up to $1,057,692.


Team wins the College Football Playoff (CFP) = $100,000
Team plays in the CFP Championship Game = $200,000
Team plays in a CFP Semi-Final Bowl Game = $200,000
Team plays in a New Year’s Six Bowl Game = $125,000
Team plays in a non-New Year’s Six Bowl Game = $75,000
Team wins the Conference Championship = $50,000
Team wins the Division Championship = $25,000
Team maintains a Multi-Year APR of 960 or better = $10,000
Team is ranked (Associated Press or Coaches Poll) at the end of a season in the:
Top 10 = $50,000
Top 20 = $25,000
Top 25 = $15,000
Note: This category of supplemental compensation is mutually exclusive, meaning that only one amount will be paid if the Team is ranked within the Top 25 (e.g. If the team was ranked as 14, then $25,000 would be awarded; NOT $25,000 for the Top 20 AND $15,000 for the Top 25.
Coach is selected as the “Conference Coach of the Year” by the Conference as voted by the Conference coaches = $15,000
Coach is selected as the national “Coach of the Year” by the Associated Press, the American Football Coaches Association, Sporting News, Home Depot, Bear Bryant, Eddie Robinson, CBS Sports, Maxwell/George Munger, Bobby Dodd, or the Walter Camp Football Foundation = $25,000
Team wins a rival game against BYU or University of Utah = $5,000

Buyout Clause (in my own words):

If EITHER Party (Utah State or Coach Anderson) terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. USU fires Anderson for low performance or Anderson leaves for another position elsewhere), the party who terminates the agreement must pay the other party an amount equaling 75% of the pro-rated amount of base pay still remaining on the contract.

So when the contract was initiated that equated to a $3,980,769 buyout. At the completion of his first year (Jan 1, 2022) the buyout was $3,187,500. It goes down day by day as parts of his salary are paid. Utah State used this same formula when they signed basketball Coach Craig Smith a few years ago, and I really like it. Often times buyouts are set amount (as opposed to a percentage) if a coach gets poached, and the team is required to pay the full amount owed for the entire remaining contract if they fire the coach. It also includes a clause stating that if Coach Anderson is fired that he must seek employment elsewhere at fair market rates, and that his payout from USU would be decreased by the amount of his new paycheck.

With the news that Coach Anderson has reached an agreement with Utah State for a two-year extension to his contract, the buyout calculations will definitely change. Details on any increases in pay, or other modifications to buyout clauses are still unknown, but USUStats will publish a separate article once those details are available. Click the image below to download the official contract discussed in this article.

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