The University of Wisconsin rewarded its highest-ranking football coaches with sizable raises following a season that produced a school-record 13 wins, per documents released by UW on Friday.
Head coach Paul Chryst will earn $3.75 million this year, a $550,000 increase from 2017. An amendment to Jim Leonhard’s agreement will now see the defensive coordinator make $795,200 annually, up from $600,000 last year, while offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph’s total salary is set to increase to $720,200, a bump of $70,200.
Leonhard also has three lump-sum payments totaling $500,000 over the next three years, with Rudolph getting three lump-sum payouts totaling $150,000.
Per Rudolph's previous agreement, he also received a one-time, lump-sum payment of $150,000 on Jan. 1.
The UW Foundation will pay $3.35 million of Chryst's annual salary, along with $495,200 of Leonhard's and $420,200 of Rudolph's.
Leonhard and Rudolph are now under contract through the 2020 season, marking the first time the two are tied to the Badgers for three years.
The amended agreements were approved by the UW Board of Regents in February, but details weren’t released until Friday.
UW also released the compensation agreement for new Badgers outside linebackers coach Bobby April III on Friday. He’ll make $300,000 in 2018.
While UW has faced criticism in the past for its modest pay of assistant football coaches, these new annual salaries would have placed Rudolph and Leonhard in the top 37 among FBS assistant coaches in 2017, per USA Today’s database.
Their buyouts, which previously couldn’t reach higher than $600,000 apiece, also increased. Leonhard would receive $2.4 million if terminated without cause prior to the end of the 2018 season, a number that decreases by $800,000 each year. Rudolph’s buyout compensation ranges from $2.175 million to $725,000 throughout the duration of his new agreement.
Leonhard enters his second season as the Badgers’ defensive coordinator after joining UW to coach defensive backs in 2016. His defense ranked in the top five nationally in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense and passing defense last season.
Rudolph, going into his fourth year as UW’s offensive coordinator, helped lead an offense that ranked 28th in scoring among FBS teams last season and guided a Badgers offensive line that produced three All-Americans.