Winning may be its own reward, but for Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, winning is now a lot more rewarding than that.
The Wildcats improved their record to 6-1 last weekend, and Stoops’ contract with the university says that beginning with the team’s seventh win of any season, he gets a $250,000 bonus for each victory, including any in postseason games.
Additionally, win No. 7 would trigger an automatic one-year extension of his agreement through June 30, 2024, with Stoops being contractually set for $5.25 million in basic annual compensation that year and 75% of that amount being guaranteed if he is fired without cause beforehand.
Kentucky is at Missouri on Saturday, then plays at home against Georgia, at Tennessee, at home against Middle Tennessee and at Louisville.
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As a practical matter, Stoops’ bonus for a seventh win is actually $150,000 or $200,000 as it supersedes a separate bonus he’s due for the Wildcats’ sixth win, which made the team eligible for a bowl bid that would give Stoops a bonus of $50,000 or $100,000. But every win thereafter would add another $250,000 to his haul.
If Kentucky keeps ascending, Stoops can reach additional incentives. If it plays in the Southeastern Conference championship game, he’d get $100,000 – and $100,000 more if it won. He’d get another $200,000 if the Wildcats play in any of the six games affiliated with the College Football Playoff, with additional amounts if they are selected for a semifinal and keep winning.
Under the contract-extension provision, if Kentucky wins 10 games or more in a season, Stoops’ deal automatically extends by two years.
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