Nevada inks Jay Norvell to new five-year contract worth $3.125 million

Jay Norvell
Jay Norvell has agreed to a new five-year contract with the Wolf Pack. (Byrne Photo/Nevada athletics)

The Wolf Pack has awarded football coach Jay Norvell a long-term contract extension following back-to-back bowl seasons.

Nevada announced Tuesday a new five-year deal for Norvell, who had two seasons remaining on his original five-year contract signed in December 2016. The contract will make him the highest-paid coach in program history and the second-highest paid coach in department history behind Eric Musselman.

The deal is worth a minimum of $3.125 million and runs through 2024. Norvell, 56, is 18-20 overall and 12-12 in the Mountain West in his first three seasons with the Wolf Pack, which includes bowl campaigns in each of the last two years.

"Jay has done a great job guiding our program and developing our student-athletes over the past three seasons," Wolf Pack athletic director Doug Knuth said in a news release. "Because of his leadership, there are a great many reasons to be excited about the trajectory of our program as the future of Wolf Pack football is bright."

The five-year deal includes a guaranteed base salary and compensation package totaling $625,000 per season plus supplemental compensation bonuses based on athletic and academic success. The school will boost the salary pool for the Wolf Pack's assistant coaches by $250,000 beginning in the 2020 season.

"I am appreciative of the support of the program shown by university president Marc Johnson and athletics director Doug Knuth," Norvell said in a news release. "The commitment of higher compensation for our staff is an important piece of the further growth of our program. My family and I love living in Northern Nevada and I take great pride in being the head football coach at the University of Nevada. I'm excited for the future of our program."

After a 3-9 season in his first year, Norvell has guided the Wolf Pack to 15 wins over the past two seasons, including victories over a pair of Power 5 opponents (Oregon State in 2018 and Purdue in 2019). The Wolf Pack went 8-5 and beat Arkansas State in the Arizona Bowl in 2018 before recording a seven-win regular season in 2019, which included Nevada's first road victory over a Top 25 team (San Diego State). The Wolf Pack lost to Ohio in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Norvell is 1-2 against rival UNLV and attendance has continued to decline in recent years. The Wolf Pack has averaged 16,694 fans per home game in Norvell's first three seasons compared to 22,368 per home game under his predecessor.

Nevada is one of the few teams in the MW's West Division that will have coaching continuity in 2020. UNLV, Hawaii, San Diego State and Fresno State will all have first-year head coaches. Six of the league's 12 teams have made head-coaching changes this offseason.

Norvell's new contract will begin in 2020 and runs through the 2024 season. The supplemental compensation includes performance bonuses for regular-season victories, victories over UNLV, victories over Power 5 opponents, West Division championships and Mountain West championships, bowl game appearances and coach of the year honors. It also includes performance bonuses for the program's score in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate and cumulative team grade-point average.

The Wolf Pack football program must hit a minimum score in the APR for any athletic performance bonus to be awarded each year.

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