Helton will receive $800,000 salary as WKU head coach

WKU’s new head coach Tyson Helton speaks during coach his press conference as the new head coach of the Hilltoppers at the Harbaugh Club in Houchens-Smith Stadium Nov. 27 in Bowling Green.

Jeremy Chisenhall

Tyson Helton is set to receive a four-year contract with a base salary of $800,000 as WKU football’s head coach, according to his term sheet. 

That base salary is the same as what former head coach Mike Sanford earned prior to his firing. Helton’s salary as Tennessee’s offensive coordinator was $1.205 million. Helton can also receive up to $400,000 in incentives. 

“I’m very, very excited to bring Tyson and the Helton family back to WKU,” athletic director Todd Stewart said at Helton’s introductory press conference Tuesday. “…Certainly the two years he was here, the 2014 and 2015 seasons, were among the most dynamic in our program’s history. It seemed like every week we rewrote the record books.”

Helton’s biggest potential bonus is $100,000, which he’ll receive if the Hilltoppers reach a New Year’s Six bowl game. 

Helton also has several potential $50,000 bonuses: winning a bowl game, finishing the season with a winning percentage greater than .500 and winning a Conference USA championship. He can also receive $50,000 bonus if his team posts an academic progress rate between 950-969, as well as if his team posts an APR of 970 or higher.

Helton also has two potential $25,000 raises, one if the program’s public season ticket sales exceed 12,000 per year, and one if he’s named C-USA Coach of the Year. 

Helton was introduced as WKU’s new head coach Tuesday after Sanford was fired Sunday afternoon. 

Sports Editor Jeremy Chisenhall can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @JSChisenhall.