Satterfield is only moving about 100 miles away as he helps usher Cincinnati into a new era in the Big 12.
Well, this is awkward.
Scott Satterfield signed a memorandum of understanding on Dec. 4 to make him the next head football coach at the University of Cincinnati. He comes to the Bearcats after four seasons at Louisville, where he went 25-24 overall and 7-5 in 2022.
Who are the Cardinals set to face on Saturday in the Fenway Bowl? If you guessed the boys from the Queen City, you’d be correct.
Thankfully for Satterfield, he won’t have to coach his new team against his old team. He is, however, officially the head coach, having assumed his duties on Dec. 5. He doesn’t have a full contract just yet, but his MOU outlines the basics, including his salary, benefits, bonuses, and buyout.
Scott Satterfield Salary Overview at Cincinnati
Term: Through 2028 season
Base Salary: $250,000
Scott Satterfield Supplemental Compensation
Satterfield will earn $3,250,000 in supplemental compensation next season, bringing his total pay up to $3,500,000 before bonuses. His supplemental pay will also increase by $100,000 every season, culminating in 2028 when he is set to make a total of $4,000,000. Not including the pro rata pay he earns from Dec. 5 through the end of 2022, Satterfield’s total contract is worth $22.5 million before bonuses.
For added context, here’s how his 2023 pay compares to other college football coaches whose contracts Boardroom has analyzed so far this season:
- Nick Saban: $10,700,000
- Kirby Smart: $10,250,000
- Brian Kelly: $9,500,000
- Mel Tucker: $9,500,000
- Ryan Day: $9,500,000
- Jimbo Fisher: $9,000,000
- Jim Harbaugh: $7,050,000
- Kirk Ferentz: $7,000,000
- Chip Kelly: $5,600,000
- Bryan Harsin*: $5,100,000
- Mack Brown: $5,000,000
- Karl Dorrell*: $3,600,000
- Scott Satterfield: $3,500,000
- Mike Norvell: $3,250,000
*coach has since been fired
Scott Satterfield Buyout Details
As is typical in situations like this, Cincinnati will pay the $3,500,000 buyout that Satterfield owes to Louisville for terminating his contract with the Cardinals.
As for the buyout that will be built into his Cincinnati contract, Satterfield can rest comfortably knowing most of his base and supplemental pay is guaranteed. If Cincinnati fires him without cause prior to Dec. 31, 2025, the university will owe him every penny left on his deal, not including bonuses. If he’s fired Jan. 1, 2026, or later, up until the end of his contract, Satterfield will be owed 70% of his remaining pay.
So, let’s say Cincinnati cuts ties with the coach on the first day of 2026. He would still have $11.7 million left on his deal, meaning Cincinnati would have to pay him 70% of that, or $8.19 million.
Then, there’s always the possibility that Satterfield decides to leave. If that’s the case, he would owe Cincinnati a buyout on the following schedule:
- Prior to 12/31/24: $8,000,000
- 12/31/25: $4,000,000
- 12/31/26: $2,500,000
- 12/31/27: $1,500,000
- 12/31/28: $1,000,000
Satterfield has a smattering of potential bonuses that Cincinnati will build into his contract when it’s settled. All told, he can earn up to $1 million extra in a given season if everything breaks the right way.
$75,000 for winning the Big 12 regular season championship
$75,000 for winning the Big 12 championship game
$250,000 for a New Year’s 6 Bowl or College Football Playoff Appearance AND
$500,000 for winning the National Championship OR
$75,000 for appearing in any other bowl
$50,000 for winning National Coach of the Year
$25,000 for winning Big 12 Coach of the Year
$25,000 if Cincinnati achieves a multi-year APR of 985 or better
To start, Cincinnati is giving Satterfield $35,000 in moving expenses to make the transition to Cincy as smooth as possible. Once he’s situated, he can count on the following:
- A $10,000 annual business entertainment budget
- One university-provided automobile
- 14 tickets to all home, away, and postseason football games and 13 suite tickets for all home games
- 8 tickets to all men’s basketball home and postseason games
- Family membership at an area golf club
- Free travel to away games for immediate family members
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