home sitesearch sitemap contact fan about
  Submit/Update Profile  

Search the Network:

Football: Coach Hud over $1 million mark

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, June 13, 2014


UL coach Mark Hudspeth calls out assignments during the second team practice Thursday in the Superdome. Paul Kieu/The Advertiser UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns head coach Mark Hudspeth calls out assignments during the second team practice for the R�L Carriers New Orleans Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Lafayette, La., Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. UL Lafayette faces Tulane University in the bowl game on Saturday, Dec. 21. By Paul Kieu, The Advertiser Dec. 19, 2013(Photo: Paul Kieu, The Advertiser)

University of Louisiana at Lafayette head football coach Mark Hudspeth will make $950,000 in combined base salary and "contingent premium benefits" this year, plus incentives and supplemental income, according to terms of his newly extended contract.

More: Hudspeth SBC’s highest-paid football coach

That’s a raise of $200,000 from what he made in both 2012 and 2013, and from what had been scheduled to make this year.

With other raises written into the extension, Hudspeth will average $1.075 million over the length of the now six-year, $6.45 million deal.

Buyout terms of the contract were extensively renegotiated as well, making it easier for the Ragin’ Cajuns to keep their coach — but also leaving the door open for him to exit should a major program willing to pay really big bucks comes calling.

"We were able to come to a really good agreement that protects both parties," Hudspeth said Thursday. "I really appreciate the work that (UL president) Dr. (Joseph) Savoie and (athletic director) Scott Farmer have put into this."

"Coach Hudspeth and I have talked about from the very beginning that we don’t want a lateral move, and we don’t want a slightly higher move," Farmer added with reference to retaining a coach who has guided the Cajuns to three straight New Orleans Bowl victories since he was hired away from his assistant’s job at Mississippi State in 2011. "But if the great opportunity becomes available, we understand that."

The extension term is retroactive to Jan. 1 and runs through 2019.

The renegotiated pact, still subject to approval from the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors when it meets later this month, includes contingent premium benefit raises of $50,000 annually starting Jan. 1, 2015.

"I’m very appreciative for them to add that clause to the contract," said Hudspeth, whose pre-extension deal did not include raises.

Contingent premium benefits are funds paid by the private Ragin’ Cajun Athletic Foundation (RCAF).

Hudspeth’s deal also contains a $50,000 annual annuity clause, bringing his effective pay for 2014 to $1 million if he stays at the school long-term.

The retention incentive — which, like the contingent premium benefit, is paid by the RCAF — is deposited into an interest-bearing annuity at the end every year the coach remains at the program.

It will be paid in sum at the end of 2016 if Hudspeth is still employed by the university at that time, and again at the end of 2019 if he honors the entire length of the extended contract.

That means Hudspeth’s annual salary — including base pay, premium benefit and annuity, and if he stays through the length of the extended deal, but not including any on-field incentive bonuses — will be $1.25 million in 2019.

The contract’s former terms, which were to have expired at the end of 2016, called for him to make $575,000 in contingent premium benefits for a total annual salary of $750,000, not including the annuity.

Hudspeth’s state-funded base pay of $175,000 does not change.

In addition to the annuity for staying, yet another annuity stipulation calls for Hudspeth to make an additional $50,000 in any season the Cajuns win at least eight games.

UL, Sun Belt Conference co-champs along with Arkansas State last year, has had three straight 9-4 seasons under the 45-year-old Hudspeth.

The extension’s significant changes in buyout terms should Hudspeth decide to leave UL before the contract expires evidently took longer to negotiate than agreeing to the actual pay figures.

"A lot of work goes into it," Farmer said. "Obviously both sides are extremely interested in that aspect of any contract.

"And we’re interested in keeping Coach Hudspeth here as long as possible. At the same time, we’re very sensitive that we don’t want to hold him back should an incredible opportunity come forward.

"But our loyalties have got to be to our program, and keeping him here is what’s so important to us," Farmer added. "So we worked very hard to present a contract that both sides were comfortable with."

If he were to leave UL this year, Hudspeth would owe the university $1.25 million.

That buyout figures drops annually to $1 million in 2015, $750,000 in 2016, $500,000 in 2017, $250,000 in 2018 and $0 in 2019.

Under former terms of the contract, Hudspeth would have owed $750,000 had he left in 2012, $450,000 had he left last year, $250,000 if he left this year, $200,000 if he were to leave next year and $0 if he were to leave in 2016.

"As long as Coach stays there, I feel good," Farmer said. "But you know what? In my position, you’re scared to answer the phone, because you never know."

Guarantees in the event of termination by the university without cause were rewritten as well.

Previously, Hudspeth would have been owed $2 million (plus remaining base pay and contingent premium benefits owed that year) if he were fired in 2012, with the amount dropping by $500,000 annually down to only remaining base pay and contingent premium benefits in 2016.

Now, Hudspeth would get $3 million guaranteed (plus remaining base pay and contingent premium benefits) if he were fired this year, with the amount dropping by $500,000 annually down to only remaining base pay and contingent premium benefits in 2019.

All other major terms of the contract remain the same, including but not limited to:

• Supplemental compensation, including 25 tickets for personal use per home game and 300 tickets for promotional or marketing use per home game.

• Supplemental incentive-based compensation, including $25,000 for winning a regular-season conference championship and playing in a bowl game in any given year or $15,000 for playing in a bowl but not winning a conference title; $10,000 for winning a bowl game; $10,000 for specified team academic achievement; $10,000 for specified team graduate success rate; up to $40,000 for winning various Coach of the Year honors; and $10,000 for reaching specified home attendance numbers.

• Either use a vehicle provided by an automobile dealership or up to $6,000 in annual car allowance.

Farmer said support from the Ragin’ Cajun Athletic Foundation aimed at retaining Hudspeth was critical to completing the extension.

"We could not do this if we didn’t have tremendous fans that supported our program," he said, "because, quite honestly, Coach Hudspeth … is getting paid by the state the exact same amount ($175,000 annually) his predecessor (Rickey Bustle) was getting paid.

"It’s dollar-for-dollar the exact same. All of the increase in money has come from private sources."

Hudspeth expressed great appreciation for that reality, too.

"The RCAF board has as much faith as our administration does," he said, "and I think they see that our football program can generate revenue for the athletic department.

"We’ve got so many outstanding people that are a member of the RCAF. Everybody now is starting to see what type of effect the RCAF can have on our program, because it’s growing tremendously each year.

"We want to continue to grow it," Hudspeth added, "because our success depends on facilities, and it depends on resources to give our current student-athletes and also resources to recruit future student-athletes."

Hudspeth’s contract, as extended through 2019, totals $6.45 million. Some details:

2014 pay


Annual raise


Annuity for staying long-term

$50,000 annually

Annuity for winning at least eight games

$50,000 annually

Bonus for going to a bowl


Car allowance

$6,000 annually