Utah State Head Coach Craig Smith’s Contract Extension

As the 2020-21 Men’s Basketball Season was winding to and end, it was revealed that Utah State had successfully completed a contract extension with Head Coach Craig Smith. The long-awaited news was welcomed in Aggie Nation, and is well deserved. Coach Smith has the best winning percentage of any coach in the history of the program. Not only has he been great in the regular season, but he is currently undefeated in the Mountain West Conference Tournament, winning the championship the past two seasons.

With Coach Smith and the Aggies preparing for the championship game tonight, let’s take a look at the last two amendments to Coach Smith’s contract. USUStats has obtained copies of both amendments to the contract, and the details from the original contract can be found here.

Amendment 1 (April 1, 2019)

This amendment was unknown to the general public. USUStats found out about the amendment and extension by requesting Craig Smith’s latest contract which was titled “Amendment 2”.

The main takeaways from this amendment were:

  • Contract terms were extended by one year, through the 2023-2024 season
  • Added a clause to automatically extend the contract by 1 season if the team makes the NCAA Tournament
  • Bumped the total salary up by $75,000 by increasing the “Media Compensation” in year two of the contract, and subsequently thereafter
  • Increased allotment designated for Assistant Coaches Salaries by $80,000
  • Increased incentive payments allotments for Assistant Coaches
  • Assistant Coach Incentives are earned if the team receives an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament
  • Reduced the buyout amount if the coach were to terminate the contract from 75% of the remaining contract amount to 30% of the remaining contract amount

    Download Contract Amendment 1

Amendment 2 (December 21, 2020)

  • Added two more seasons to the contract, extending it through the 2025-26 season
  • Kept the automatic extension clause for an NCAA Tournament appearance
  • Reduced the buyout amount if the coach were to terminate the contract from 30% of the remaining contract amount to 25% of the remaining contract amount

Download Contract Amendment 2

Mountain West Football Wins by Team Graphic

My last visualization was well received, and I got some requests to do the same thing for Mountain West Football Teams. It took me a little while to get it all put together, but it’s finally ready.


Utah State Head Coach Craig Smith’s Contract Details

As the Mountain West regular season comes to a close tomorrow night, with a few teams still jockeying for position in the conference tournament, I think it’s safe to say that coach Craig Smith has exceeded all expectations.

Utah State Head Coach Craig Smith

The Utah State Aggies ended their season the same way they started it, snatching a tough road victory while scoring 100+ points. The win at Colorado State on Tuesday night guaranteed at least a share of the Mountain West Conference Regular Season Championship. Whether they win it outright will be determined tomorrow night as Nevada hosts San Diego State in each team’s final game of the season. If Nevada wins, they will be co-champions with Utah State, otherwise Utah State is the outright champion.

As I began reflecting on the season, the first thing that came to my mind is that Utah State administration should be planning on giving Coach Smith a raise and contract extension. The man has definitely earned it. The Aggies were picked to finish 9th in the Mountain West and ended up winning the championship posting an impressive 25-6 regular season record. Many believe that Utah State is set to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament regardless of what happens next week in the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas. In many people’s opinions (including my own), Coach Smith is the front runner for the Mountain West Coach of the Year award.

So how much is Utah State paying Coach Smith, and what bonuses are included in his contract? I have obtained a copy of the official contract from Utah State University, and here are the details.

Coach Smith signed a 5-year agreement beginning on March 25, 2018 and ending on March 31, 2023 (at the conclusion of the 2022-23 season).

Base Pay (including $100,000 for media appearances per year):

Year 1 – $650,000
Year 2 – $675,000
Year 3 – $700,000
Year 4 – $725,000
Year 5 – $750,000


Team wins the National Championship = $100,000
Team qualifies as a Final Four Participant = $50,000
Team wins the Conference Tournament Championship = $25,000
Team wins the regular season Conference Championship (either outright
Champion or Co-Champion) = $25,000
Team maintains a multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 952 = $10,000
Team granted an at-large NCAA Tournament Bid = $20,000
Team wins an NCAA Tournament First Four Game = $10,000
Team wins an NCAA Tournament Game (excluding a First Four Game) = $20,000
Note: each win at an NCAA Tournament will qualify Coach for a $20,000
incentive payment.
Team invited to the National Invitation Tournament = $10,000
Tean wins the National Invitation Tournament Championship = $10,000
Team is ranked (Associated Press Poll) at the end of a season in the:
Top 10 = $50,000
Top 20 = $25,000
Top 25 = $10,000
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 $10,000 for the Top 25.
Coach is selected as the “Conference Coach of the Year” by the Conference as voted by the Conference coaches = $10,000
Coach is selected as the national “Coach of the Year” by the Associated Press, the Atlanta Tipoff Club (Naismith College Coach of the Year), or the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) = $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 Smith) terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. USU fires Smith for low performance or Smith 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 $2,625,000 buyout. Currently it should be closer to $2,200,000 since most of the first year has been completed and paid. I found this to be an interesting clause as often times there is a set amount for buyout, and the team is required to pay the full amount owed if they fire the coach. I like this arrangement better. It also includes a clause stating that if Coach Smith 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.


If this Agreement is terminated for convenience by Coach, then Coach shall not for a period of one (1) year after such termination by Coach recruit any high school athlete previously recruited by USU, unless such athlete had been recruited by any new institution employing Coach prior to the notice of termination by Coach to USU, unless otherwise agreed to by USU.

My Thoughts:

Overall, I think that this contract is very well put together. Much moreso than the Tim Duryea contract (we won’t go there). I like all of the bonuses, and really like the buyout and recruiting clauses. There are more perks included in the full contract, that can be found below.

So, it’s time to get your lawyers and pens ready, John Hartwell. Once the team finishes off the season (hopefully with a bang) it will be time to extend this contract out and give the man a well deserved raise!


Utah State Basketball 2016-17 Pictorial Roster

Shane RectorJalen MooreJulion PearreKoby McEwen

It’s that time of year again! Time to try and piece together the team for the upcoming basketball season! We’ve done just that at USUStats.com with our annual “Pictorial Roster“. We’ve got 10 new comers to this team, so there are a lot of new faces to get to know this year. Check it out by clicking below, and feel free to post questions, comments, or predictions on any of the players you see on the roster.

2016-17 Utah State Basketball Pictorial Roster

Also feel free to reminisce and check out the rosters from past seasons by changing the season in the drop down box at the top of the page (once you click the link above).

Former Aggies With Shot To Win $2 Million

Utah Stallions LogoSeveral former Utah State basketball players have teamed up as the “Utah Stallions” in an effort to become eligible to compete in “The Basketball Tournament (TBT)” later this year for a chance at a $2 Million dollar prize, or one of many other prizes.

TBT is an open-application basketball tournament that includes 5-on-5 single elimination games. This year’s prize money has doubled from last year, and will be $2,000,000 to the winning team.

The Utah Stallions Currently Consist of the Following Players:

Preston Medlin
Spencer Butterfield
Nate Bendall
Jordan Stone
Grayson Moore
Sean Harris
Danny Berger
John Berger

Each team needs at least 200 fan votes to become eligible, and the Utah Stallions are not quite there yet! They need our help to move up the ranking and ensure they will be chosen to participate. To vote for them follow these steps:

1 – Click on this link: https://www.thetournament.com/teams/utah-stallions-utah-state-alumni?type=fan&f=57070a3573aaf208400393

2 – Click on the Orange square in the top right that says “Click Here To Become A Fan @ Vote For This Team”.

3 – Register to vote by filling out the form.

4 – Validate your email address to confirm your vote.

That’s it! Let’s help these former Aggies get eligible to compete!

There is also one other former Aggie competing on a different team. Former Aggie Point Guard Kris Clark will be competing for TeamBDB. Each fan can vote for multiple teams, so cast your vote for Kris’s team by clicking this link: https://www.thetournament.com/teams/teambdb?type=fan&f=57070a3573aaf20840039

Go Aggies!

The Bangarang – 2014 Football Edition

Football Season is finally here! And while the first game wasn’t exactly what any of us expected or wanted to see, the Aggies still have a full season ahead of them. Coming up next are the Idaho State Bengals who come to town this Saturday for the first home game of the season!

Get out and support our team, and while you are at it look for one of 10,000 copies of The Bangarang – 2014 Football Edition that will be distributed to the crowd. The Bangarang Crew has come up with a few new traditions that will be introduced this year and the newsletter will fill you in on some game day tips that can help create a great atmosphere, help you have a great experience, and most importantly, help the Aggies win!

The Bangarang – Wyoming Edition

As the five Aggie seniors hit the floor tonight against Wyoming, let’s send them off in style with a Spectrum environment that they will remember. Spencer Butterfield, Preston Medlin, Jarred Shaw, TeNale Roland, and Sean Harris deserve it for the all blood, sweat, and tears they have put in to this basketball program. For a preview of the game and some good ammunition against Wyoming check out the latest Bangarang Issue.