Fresno State has found its next head coach and it is Jeff Tedford who is the former Cal head coach and also a former offensive coordinator at Fresno State and Oregon.
Here in this corner of the web we have not been too happy with this hire — we do hope we are wrong — due to the lack of looking at other candidates seriously and not going with someone who has not coached college football since 2012 at Cal.
So, it is Tedford and hopefully his local ties and also surrounding himself with a great staff will help get Fresno State back to where the fans think it should be.
Then this little bomb dropped about his salary.
The length of the deal is not official but some reports have said this is a three- or four-year contract.
Lets back up for a moment with this. Fresno State held onto Tim DeRuyter because he was an expensive hire and that the athletics department was not in the best of shape financially.
The school finally made the move and DeRuyter is still going home with a nice golden parachute worth $3.1 million over the final two years of the contract he had with Fresno State.
Two things: First, the $1.6 million is a lot of money for a school that has been forced to schedule multiple road games against Power Five teams over the next decade to fund their programs, and that amount will be the most of any coach in the conference.
That is correct. Tedford who has not coached in college — yes, the CFL and NFL but that is a completely different game — in what will be five years by the time 2017 rolls around.
Not to say that Tedford has not accomplished a lot because he has done good things but the amount of money being paid out here is a lot. From what we are hearing is that boosters are going to help pay for Tedford, and to a degree the buyout for DeRuyter. So, if for some reason Tedford doesn’t work out that is a lot of wasted money.
Here is the salaries of the current Mountain West coaches (This does included DeRuyter who was previously the highest paid coach in the league) from USA TODAY’s database.
The first column is school pay, the third is total pay and the last two are bonuses with the final column being bonuses paid last year.
Tedford will walk in Day 1 and make more than Bryan Harsin who has won a Fiesta Bowl and a conference title, Rocky Long at San Diego State who won the conference last year and has helped the Aztecs to heights its ever seen and as for Mike Bobo at Colorado State he was one of those offensive coordinators at Georgia who was a hot commodity so that money was warranted.
Had Fresno State paid Tedford a million dollars per year no one would say a peep but making him the highest paid coach right away seems bullish, and maybe it will pay off. However, if Tedford does lead Fresno State to a conference title or even a New Year’s Six Bowl game can they afford to pay him over $2 million per year? Not to say Group of Five teams should live in fear and not pay coaches but it all goes back to finances with Fresno State.
Looking back at a report from the 2011-12 financial statement on Fresno State athletics, the picture is not pretty as over one-third of athletic funds came from student fees.
4.) The Athletic Corp. in FY 2012 got $4,063,999 from student fees, compared to $1,620,713 in FY 2011. Athletics’ portion of the Instructionally Related Activity Fee paid by each student went from $39 per semester in FY 2011 to $99 per semester in FY 2012.
It was only five years ago that none of the university’s Instructionally Related Activity Fee went automatically to athletics.
5.) Fresno State provided $5,763,584 in “university support” to the Athletic Corp. in FY 2012, compared to $4,154,670 in FY 2011.
6.) The Athletic Corp. in FY 2012 received a total of $9,827,583 of its $26,530,088 in operating revenue from student fees and university support. That’s 37%
A lot of schools have activity fees to help support athletics so this is not to point fingers at Fresno State but to make a point. How much will feeds go up as the school will now being paying $3.15 million in head coaches salary over the next two years.
That amount would stick Fresno State’s coaching salary in the 30s nationally and just above Bill Snyder at Kansas State and Todd Graham of Arizona State.
With Fresno State zero-ing on Tedford from the start perhaps he held that against the Bulldogs to leverage more money from is alam mater; who really knows.
This is just a cautionary tale that if Tedford does not work out then Fresno State could be handing out money left and right to a second failed head coach and then have to settle for someone below the level that the Bulldogs fans want in their next year.
For the sake of Fresno State fans I hope that the Tedford hire lives up to their expectations.