Coach Danny Sprinkle’s Contract with Utah State

For Utah State Basketball fans, this past year has been quite the whirlwind. Going into the season expectations were not high, and Utah State was picked to finish 8th in the Mountain West preseason poll. The Aggies picked up a couple of key transfers in Dan Akin and Taylor Funk and ended up exceeding all expectations. The Aggies NET rating was in the top 40 all season, ending the year at #23. Utah State finished the season with a 26-9 record and made it to the Mountain West Conference Championship, once again facing San Diego State. Fun fact: The Aggies and Aztecs have met in 4 of the last 5 Mountain West Tournament Championships. The Aggies fell just short to the Aztecs (who ended up as National Championship runner-ups), but still received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. It was the all-familiar story for Aggie fans in the Big Dance as the team fell short once again in the first round, suffering a 76-65 loss to Missouri.

Optimism was in the air, but was quickly deflated as rumors of Ryan Odom leaving town started swirling around Cache Valley. Odom was rumored to be the top target for the University of Southern Florida job, but ended up becoming the head coach for VCU. Despair was creeping in the weeks passed by with no head coach in Logan, and Aggie players entering the transfer portal left and right.

Enter Danny Sprinkle. Utah State’s interim athletics director Jerry Bovee was able to lure away the head coach of the Montana State Bobcats to be the new coach at Utah State. This was no easy task as Danny was a basketball star at Montana State during his playing years, and was essentially in his dream job. But the promise of a large increase in salary, with the privilege of playing in one of the top college basketball atmospheres in the country sealed the deal. During his introductory press conference Danny said: “As for the Spectrum, it is one of the best home-court atmospheres in the country, and I can’t wait to work with The HURD and get that place rocking.” Danny led Montana State to an 81-43 record while head coach, including two straight NCAA Tournament Appearances. He hopes to continue this level of success and consistent post-season appearances at Utah State.

Despite losing every meaningful contributor from the 2022-23 Utah State Basketball squad, Coach Sprinkle has infused optimism in the program, securing several key transfers to include:
Darius Brown II (Sr. from Montana State) – Defensive player of the year in the Big Sky
Great Osobor (Jr. from Montana State) – 6th man of the year in the Big Sky
Nigel Burris (Jr. from Idaho) – Freshmen of the year in the Big Sky
Josh Uduje (Jr. from Coastal Carolina) – Dynamic scorer who averaged 13.3 points per game last year
Jackson Grant (Jr. from Washington) – Former McDonald’s All American
Max Agbonkpolo (Sr. from Wyoming) – 4 star-recruit who played for USC and then Wyoming

USUStats was able to obtain a copy of Danny Sprinkle’s initial contract with Utah State. This is not the finalized contract, but a higher level agreement between Danny and the University. It includes the main important aspects, but does not yet define details for bonuses that may be achieved through in-season accomplishments.

Here’s the breakdown of what is included in the contract:

Base Pay (Including Media Compensation):

Year 1 – $900,000
Year 2 – $925,000
Year 3 – $950,000
Year 4 – $975,000
Year 5 – $1,000,000

The base contract is five years at $900K per year with a $25K raise each year.

Staff Salary Pool:

The agreement includes $530K to be used for three assistant coaches and $150K for operations and administrative positions and one full-time Grad Assistant. It states that the assistant salary pool will be reviewed annually between the Coach and University.

Bonuses:

The bonuses are not specified, but the agreement states that the incentive payments will be “reasonably consistent with the terms of incentive payments for USU’s most recent head men’s basketball coach.” Coach Ryan Odom’s contract details can be found on this blog post from March, 2022.

Buyout Clause (in my own words):

If Utah State were to terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. USU fires Sprinkle for low performance), they are required to pay 75% of the pro-rated amount of base pay still remaining on the contract.

For example, at the start of his employment, Coach Sprinkle has a total of $4,750,000 in remaining salary on the 5-year agreement. If he were to be immediately fired, he would be owed 75% of that which would be $3,562,500. If he were to be fired after the completion of his second season he would be owed $2,193,750 ($2,925,000 * .75).

The same goes for the inverse. If Coach Sprinkle were to terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. Sprinkle leaves for another position elsewhere) the buyout would also be 75% of the remaining cumulative salary owed. However, there is an extra clause that favors Coach Sprinkle the longer he stays at Utah State. The buyout is reduced to only 50% of the remaining salary after the completion of the second year as coach, and for the remainder of his contract.

Differences between the Sprinkle contract and previous contracts:

Coach Sprinkle’s contract is actually more similar to Coach Craig Smith’s contract than Coach Ryan Odom’s contract. Coach Smith had the built in raises, whereas coach Odom’s salary stayed stable at $800K per year for 5 years. However, Coach Sprinkle’s contract started out as the highest paying initial men’s coach contract ever at Utah State. Coach Smith started at $650,000 and Coach Odom started at $800,000 while Coach Sprinkle starts out at $900,000. The incentive bonuses will likely be similar between all three contracts.

Coach Sprinkle’s buyout clause seems to be a mix between what was offered to the last two coaches. Coach Smith had a 75% buyout clause for both parties, but that clause was quickly changed to be much more favorable to Coach Smith upon his contract extension. Coach Odom’s buyout started out at only 50% of the remaining salary and shifted to only 35% of the remaining salary after the completion of his second season. It appears that Utah State is interested in keeping Coach Sprinkle long term, or at least would like to be well compensated if coach decides to leave for another program.

Click the image below to download the full initial contract agreement.

USUStats will post the full employment agreement once it is signed and obtained. What are your thoughts on the new coach and the initial contract agreement?

Coach Blake Anderson’s Contract Extension Details

Utah State football fans have been on quite the roller coaster ride this football season. From an early season win over UConn to a devastating loss to in-state FCS foe Weber State to a great win over a good Air Force team at home, the ups and downs have been the only thing consistent with this year’s program. Perhaps this bye week will provide fans with a chance to take a breath before the rest of the ride commences.

Head Coach Blake Anderson is in his second season with Utah State after having coached the team to an incredible turnaround and a season for the ages in 2021. In 2020, Utah State football was as down-trodden as any team could be finishing the season with a single win, while deciding to forfeit their final game at Colorado State. In 2021, Coach Anderson helped turn that around completely, leading Utah State a 11-3 record, its first ever Mountain West Championship, and two wins over Power-5 foes including a season ending Jimmy Kimmel Bowl Championship over Oregon State. This drastic turnaround resulted in Coach Anderson receiving a bump in pay and extension to his contract.

Coach Blake Anderson
Coach Blake Anderson

USUStats.com has obtained the finalized details of Blake Anderson’s modified contract. The full contract can be downloaded in PDF format at the bottom of this post. Here are the main takeaways from this contract amendment:

  • Contract terms were extended by two years, through the 2027 season.
  • Base Annual Salary was increased by $300,000 in Year 2 (2022 season).
  • Yearly Base Annual Salary Increases went from a $25K increase to a $50K increase starting in Year 3
  • Total Salary Including Media Compensation is now as follows:
    • Year 1 (2021) – $1,057,692
    • Year 2 (2022) – $1,325,000
    • Year 3 (2023) – $1,375,000
    • Year 4 (2024) – $1,425,000
    • Year 5 (2025) – $1,475,000
    • Year 6 (2026) – $1,525,000
    • Year 7 (2027) – $1,575,000
  • Reduced the buyout amount if the coach were to terminate the contract from 75% of the “Cumulative Remaining Salary” to much lower set amounts that decrease each year as follows:
    • $2,000,000 before Dec 31, 2022
    • $1,700,000 before Dec 31, 2023
    • $1,200,000 before Dec 31, 2024
    • $800,000 before Dec 31, 2025
    • $500,000 before Dec 31, 2026
    • $0 before Dec 31, 2027
  • Utah State is still on the hook to pay 75% of the “Cumulative Remaining Salary” if they terminate the coach for convenience.
  • No apparent increases in the $2,500,000 salary pool for assistant coaches.

Overall, the contract is much more favorable to Coach Anderson, and the buyout structure is much less favorable to Utah State. This is no surprise based on recent contract amendments to other coaches who have shown to be successful at Utah State. What are your thoughts on the contract extension? Let us know below.

Click the image below to download the official contract amendment discussed in this article.

Coach Ryan Odom’s Contract with Utah State

With Utah State’s season coming to a close with a heartbreaking loss to Colorado State in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas, the Aggies are hoping for some type of postseason tournament invite. With a NET rating of 61, they won’t be getting in to the NCAA tournament this year, but they do have a decent shot at the NIT or at worst, one of the lesser tournaments (CBI or CIT).

Utah State Coach Ryan Odom

After losing coach Craig Smith to the University of Utah in the off-season, Utah State hired Ryan Odom from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Coach Odom’s claim to fame was leading his UMBC Retrievers to a 20 point victory over Virginia in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The Retrievers were the first 16-seed to ever beat a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Ryan Odom is the son of Dave Odom who coached East Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest, and South Carolina.

USUStats has obtained Coach Odom’s contract with Utah State. Here are some interesting takeaways from the agreement:

Base Pay (including $300,000 for media appearances per year):

Year 1 – $791,796 (pro-rated amount for 360 days out of 365)
Year 2 – $800,000
Year 3 – $800,000
Year 4 – $800,000
Year 5 – $800,000

The base contract is $500K per year plus $300K for media appearances. Interestingly there are no built in raises each year.

Bonuses:

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) = $15,000
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 Game (including a First Four Game, but excluding the National Championship 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
Team 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 Utah State were to terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. USU fires Odom for low performance), they are required to pay 75% of the pro-rated amount of base pay still remaining on the contract.

For example, as of March 31, 2022 Coach Odom will have $3.2M remaining on his contract for years 2-5. If Utah State were to fire him, they would owe 75% of that remaining salary, or $2.4M.

If Coach Odom were to terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. Odom leaves for another position elsewhere), it gets a bit more complicated. If he were to leave any time during years 1 or 2 (before April 1, 2023), the buyout would be 50% of the remaining cumulative salary owed. If he were to leave during year 3 or thereafter (April 1, 2023 or after), the buyout would be 35% of the remaining cumulative salary owed.

For example, if coach accepted another position on March 31, 2022, the buyout would be 50% of the remaining $3.2M on his contract for years 2-5, or $1.6M. If he were to leave on April 1, 2023 the buyout would be 35% of the remaining $2.4M on his contract, or $840K.

Differences between the Smith and Odom contracts:

A few things were different between Craig Smith’s original contract and Coach Odom’s contract. Coach Smith had a lower per-year base salary, but had built in raises each year. Coach Odom’s contract has a base salary of $800,000 per year with no raises built in. Coach Smith’s original buyout clause was 75% of the remaining contract for both Utah State and the coach if either were to terminate for convenience. Coach Odom’s buyout clause is more favorable to the coach with a smaller buyout amount that reduces even further after the first two seasons. The final two differences that I noticed were slight modifications to bonus amounts. The amount for winning a regular season championship was reduced from $25K to $15K. The amount for winning a First Four NCAA Tournament game was increased from $10K to $20K.

Final Thoughts:

With the first regular season under his belt, Coach Odom showed that he can pull off some big victories (beat Oklahoma to win the Myrtle Beach Invitational early in the year), and could compete with everyone. However, he couldn’t push the team over the hump in several key games this year that were lost by one or two possessions. A few made baskets here or there throughout the season and the Aggies would be a lock for an at-large bid. But as it stands, we are on the outside looking in hoping for a second-rate invitation for any kind of postseason tournament. Odom will likely lose some key pieces this year (Horvath, and likely Bean, Miller, and Eytle Rock), and will need to bring in some key pieces to compete for a championship in the Mountain West. What were your thoughts on Coach Odom’s first year as an Aggie coach? Let us know in the comments below.

Click the image below to download the official contract discussed in this article.

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.

Bonuses:

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.

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

Bonuses:

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.

Recruiting:

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!

GO AGGIES!