Friday, January 6, 2012
Hugh Freeze gets bonus for SEC wins
Victories mean money for new Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze -- a $100,000 bonus for each Southeastern Conference win.
Details of the contract were released to The Associated Press in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Freeze will earn a base salary of $1.5 million next season, but he has the opportunity to push that total to $1.9 million with a 4-4 record in the SEC.
ESPN.com's Chris Low and Edward Aschoff write about all things SEC football in the conference blog.
That would be no small accomplishment. The Rebels finished 2-10 last season, including 0-8 in the SEC, and compete in the loaded Western Division that includes national championship participants Alabama and LSU.
Freeze has the ability to earn $1.425 million in incentives next season if he achieves certain goals, including on-field success and academic achievements. Freeze earns $25,000 if the Rebels go to a low-level bowl and $100,000 for making a BCS bowl game. He can also achieve bonuses ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 depending on the program's Academic Progress Rate score.
Recently fired coach Houston Nutt made more than $2.7 million last season but didn't provide much return on that investment. Ole Miss is currently mired in a 14-game SEC losing streak, the longest in program history.
Freeze was the lowest paid coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision last season at Arkansas State, according to USA Today, making just over $200,000 per season. Now the 42-year-old has the opportunity to earn that much money with two SEC victories.
During his introductory news conference, Freeze grinned and said his agent Jimmy Sexton was the "best in the business" while discussing his contract. Freeze will get an automatic raise in his base salary to $1.6 million next season and can earn another $100,000 raise the next two seasons if he improves the program's won-loss record or the athletic director "determines that the direction of the football program is improving."