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Thursday, June 3, 2004
Meyer essentially given $100,000 a year raise

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- The University of Utah has rewarded football coach Urban Meyer with a restructured contract after leading the Utes to their first conference championship in a generation.

The contract, first reported Thursday by The Salt Lake Tribune, essentially gives Meyer a $100,000 yearly raise, guaranteeing his annual salary at $500,000.

It also ensures a $25,000 yearly raise and a one-year contract extension each time the Utes finish with a winning record and ticket sales equal those from 2002, when Utah finished 5-6 before Meyer was hired.

"My family is extremely important to me, and I want to raise them in a great place and this is a great place," the 39-year-old Meyer said Thursday.

"We're excited to be able to extend Urban's contract, and we're excited about the future," athletic direct Chris Hill said.

Meyer and Hill signed the contract Friday (May 28), and it was retroactive to Jan. 1. Copies were obtained Thursday by The Associated Press through a request under the Government Records Access Management Act, a process also used by the Tribune.

The new contract includes a $40,000 jump in Meyer's base salary to $200,000; a $30,000 increase in income from radio and television to $110,000; and a $30,000 boost in appearances to $190,000.

It also provides a $100,000 retention bonus if Meyer remains at Utah until May 31, 2009; and either a $100,000 bonus if Utah participates in a Bowl Championships Series game, a $25,000 bonus if the Utes play in a bowl game designated for the Mountain West Conference champion, or a bonus of one month's base salary if Utah plays in any other bowl game.

The contract calls for a $25,000 bonus if the Utes are listed in the top 25 of the final AP or USA Today polls, $25,000 if he is named national coach of the year, $10,000 for MWC coach of the year, and 5 percent of any increase in revenue for season ticket sales over an established baseline.

That, the contract says, will be determined based on the revenue from the previous year's season ticket sales adjusted to reflect changes in the price and number of games.

Meyer will have to pay the university $250,000 if he leaves before the end of the contact. However, there is no penalty if he is named head coach at Michigan, Ohio State or Notre Dame, three schools chosen by Meyer. He can change that list of schools after Dec. 12, 2005.

Also tied to the contract is a clause allowing Meyer to leave without penalty if a new, $6 million indoor practice facility is not substantially completed by 2005.

"We're just trying to stay competitive in the Mountain West Conference," Meyer said of the need for the new 74,000-square-foot facility which would replace an inflatable "bubble" type structure.

"The bubble is not functional, and we need to stay moving in the right direction," he said.

The Utes finished 10-2 and won the Mountain West and the Liberty Bowl in their first season under Meyer last year.

Meyer was named the national coach of the year by The Sporting News, which brought him $75,000 in bonuses. He also was named coach of the year by the Mountain West Conference after leading Utah to its first outright conference title since 1957.