Coach to reap rewards

Joe Lord

Head football coach Jack Harbaugh will get more from his national championship season than a ring.

He’ll pocket about $30,000 in bonuses.

As part of Harbaugh’s one-paragraph contract signed last year, he will be paid three month’s worth of his salary for winning a national championship, Athletics Director Wood Selig said. That adds up to more than $24,000.

He’ll get another $5,000 from Western for being named the National I-AA Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches earlier this month, Selig said.

Last year’s contract was the first Harbaugh had signed that included performance bonuses, Selig said.

Harbaugh earned the bonuses, President Gary Ransdell said.

“I would say, the kind of performance his team had this year and the national attention he brought Western – I would say that is money well spent,” Ransdell said.

Selig said money shouldn’t be viewed as the reason for Western’s first national title.

“I seriously doubt that a month or two worth of salary is the driving force behind a championship season,” he said. “But in the same vein, I think it shows appreciation by the institution for excelling in the position.”

Although Harbaugh’s bonus checks were signed yesterday, Selig said the university has no contractual obligation to pay bonuses to the football team’s assistant coaches from this past season, but the possibility exists for them to reap financial rewards for their work.

“We might consider that, but at this time we haven’t made any plans,” he said.

Selig said Harbaugh has not contacted the athletics department about the possibility of a contract extension.

“I’d be surprised,” Selig said. “That’s not his style.”

Harbaugh said he won’t seek an extension.

“I think that has to come from the administration, and I have no plans to bring it up,” he said.

Rings expected this spring

Members of the national championship football team are expecting a new piece of hardware this spring.

About 125 championship rings will go to the team and coaches, Selig said. The rings have not yet been designed, and the manufacturer hasn’t been selected.

Selig said the rings will cost about $300 each, but a fund raising effort through the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation is expected to cover most of the costs.

Funding for about 36 rings has already been covered, Selig said.

“We just started that on Saturday, so we’re off to a very strong start,” Selig said.

Selig said the rings may be handed out at the spring intrasquad football scrimmage game or at the team’s spring banquet.

Reach Joseph Lord at [email protected]