How much will Jay Norvell get for beating UNLV? All the details of his new contract

Jay Norvell
Jay Norvell has agreed to a new five-year contract with Nevada. (Julian Del Gaudio/Nevada Sports Net)

Jay Norvell's new five-year, $3.125 million contract announced Tuesday has a few more wrinkles and a lot more security than the contract he signed in December 2016. The potential bonuses are more plentiful (and interesting) and the guaranteed money has been boosted as well. Here is a breakdown of the contract, which was signed by Norvell and Nevada athletic director Doug Knuth on Feb. 19 and finalized by UNR president Marc Johnson and the university's general counsel Mark Dugan on Feb. 26. The contract was announced Tuesday, one day after Nevada Sports Net requested a copy of the new pact.


The contract began Feb. 1, 2020 and runs through Jan. 31, 2025, making this a five-year agreement, which is the standard length of contracts for college football coaches.

Base salary

Norvell will make $300,000 in base salary, which was the term of his previous contract. This is a significant decline from Norvell's predecessor, Brian Polian, who made $535,000 in base salary.

Guaranteed money

Norvell will earn $325,000 in media and public appearances as long as he's employed by Nevada, which will push his guaranteed annual salary to $625,000 as long as he meets his media obligations – 12 radio, 12 television/Internet, 20 public/donor appearances per season.

MW comparison

Norvell’s $625,000 in guaranteed money ranks last among MW coaches. The average MW head football coach salary in 2020 will be $1.14 million, up from $877,250 per coach in 2016 when Norvell landed the Wolf Pack job.

Wolf Pack rank

Norvell’s $625,000 in guaranteed money makes him the highest-paid football coach in Nevada's history, surpassing Polian's high-water mark of $585,000. He becomes the second-highest-paid coach in school history behind Eric Musselman, who made $1 million annually, although Steve Alford will pass him in 2020-21 when his salary rises to $1.15 million (he will top out at $1.5 million annually).

Athletic performance bonuses

As long as Nevada hits a single-season APR of 940 in the immediately preceding academic year, Norvell is eligible to earn the following athletic performance bonuses. His total bonus compensation can not exceed $875,000. Amounts below are cumulative.

Regular season

* Winning seven regular-season games ($25,000)

* Winning eight regular-season games ($25,000)

* Winning nine or more regular-season games ($50,000)

* Beating UNLV ($25,000)

* Beating a Power 5 school ($25,000)

* Winning the MW's West Division and playing in the MW title game ($50,000)

* Winning the Mountain West title ($100,000)


* Playing in a non-New Year's Six bowl ($15,000)

* Winning a non-New Years Six bowl ($25,000)

* Playing in a New Year's Six bowl ($150,000)

* Winning in a New Year's Six bowl ($200,000)

* Playing in a CFP semifinal bowl game ($250,000)

* Playing in the CFP national championship ($500,000)

Coach of the year

* Winning the MW coach of the year or co-coach of the year award ($25,000)

* Winning the national coach of the year or co-coach of the year award ($50,000)

Academic performance bonuses

Norvell is eligible to earn the following academic performance bonuses with his total bonus compensation not to exceed $35,000.

* For a team APR of 985 or higher for the previous spring and fall semesters ($10,000)

* For his team achieving an annual GPA for the previous spring and fall semester of 2.75 or higher ($25,000)

The athletic and academic performances would be forfeited if Norvell was fired before Dec. 1 of that contract year or if he left for another job before Jan. 1 of that contract year.

Early termination

If Nevada fires Norvell without cause prior to the end of his contract (Jan. 31, 2025), the Wolf Pack would owe Norvell his base salary and media and public appearance salary for the remainder of his contract, thus make his five-year, $3.125 million contract fully guaranteed. The payments would be due on a monthly basis until the end of his term. Previously, only the base salary portion of Norvell's contract was guaranteed. If Norvell were to find another job after being fired, the Wolf Pack's obligation would be reduced by the sum of his future salary. If Norvell and/or one of his assistant coaches and/or program employees is sanctioned by the NCAA/conference/self-imposed within three years of his termination, Norvell would be required to reimburse the university for his buyout.

Coach buyout

If Norvell leaves before the end of his contract, he must pay Nevada his remaining base salary and media and public appearance salary for the remainder of his contract. The payment would be made in one lump sum and would be due within 60 days of his departure date.

Assistant coaches

While Nevada's news release on the extension noted Norvell would get an additional $250,000 in assistant coaching salary pool for 2020, that is not outlined in his contract. Where the additional $250,000 will go is unknown given his new five assistant coaches are making less than their predecessors by nearly $50,000, per a report by Nevada Sports Net last month. Norvell is allowed to distribute any bonuses accrued to his assistant coaches as supplemental compensation upon written approval of the athletic director.


Norvell gets a skybox at Mackay Stadium that includes up to 12 season tickets in football; he gets four season tickets in all other sports; he gets a country club membership for the entirety of his tenure; and a monthly $1,000 automobile stipend. Norvell also is eligible to contract independently with a shoe, apparel or equipment company.

Personnel evaluation

The contract states Norvell will be evaluated on four factors, including: 40 percent on competitiveness; 40 percent on academic and rules compliance; 10 percent on institutional goals, including diversity and citizenship; and 10 percent on program administration

Also of note

* If Nevada's APR falls below 940, Norvell must within 30 days of the end of the academic year prepare and submit to the athletic director a written plan of action to achieve a 940 APR in the next academic year

* Nevada's AD, with the approval of the president, can fine Norvell up to $10,000 per violation of Board of Regent, university or NCAA/conference rules

* Norvell's spouse and child are allowed team travel privileges to all away/postseason football games at the standard state per diem rate

* Norvell must notify his athletic director immediately in writing of opportunity or interest from a school in the NCAA, NAIA or any professional league or conference in the United States or elsewhere

* Any legal dispute arising between the two parties over this contract would be litigated in a court of competent jurisdiction in Washoe County, State of Nevada

Offbeat News