USC football coach Steve Spurrier got what he wanted after leading the Gamecocks to their first SEC East Division crown.
He received a hefty raise in the last three seasons of his contract — more than $1 million, on average, over his salary last year. He’ll get paid more if he’s fired without cause. He will earn more in bonuses for reaching some bowl games.
What he didn’t want was a contract extension.
“We asked Steve what he wanted, and this is what he wanted,” USC athletics director Eric Hyman said. “It wouldn’t have been a problem one way or another.”
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Efforts to reach Spurrier, who turns 66 on Wednesday, were unsuccessful. Hyman said he did not know if the coach would retire when his contract ends after the 2013 season.
“We’ll support him in possibly every way we can,” Hyman said. “He’s got a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm, and I think he’s been reinvigorated. There’s no telling.”
Spurrier will receive $2.55 million in 2011, $2.88 million in 2012 and $2.95 million in 2013 under contract changes approved by the USC board of trustees on Friday. Spurrier was paid $1.75 million last season.
The salary increases come from compensation paid by broadcasters, athletic apparel markers and commercial endorsements, which accounts for the bulk of Spurrier’s earnings. His base salary remains $257,500 a year.
In addition, Spurrier is scheduled to receive a one-time $1 million payment from a tax-deferred retirement plan at the end of the year. That would bring his total pay for 2011 to $3.55 million.
Without the retirement-plan payment, Spurrier’s salary next season takes him from near the bottom to the middle of the SEC in compensation among head coaches. His pay remains far below that of Alabama’s Nick Saban, whose $6 millon salary is the highest in the league.
Spurrier is the third-winningest coach in USC football history. He’s 44-33 since taking over in 2005. The Gamecocks won the East Division championship this past season — the program’s first SEC title and the second conference championship in school history, along with the 1969 ACC title. He also has nabbed top national recruits — running back Marcus Lattimore and defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney — each of the past two seasons.
“I think it recognizes the job he has done,” Hyman said of the pay raise. “Since he’s been the head football coach here, he has achieved a lot of firsts.”
Spurrier’s assistants also received pay hikes, Hyman said, but the department did not release the new salaries Friday.
Under the new agreement, Spurrier receives a $100,000 bonus for playing in the Capital One, Chick-fil-A or Cotton bowls. He already receives a $100,000 bonus for making a bowl game held on Jan. 1 or later and $50,000 for reaching a bowl played before Jan. 1.
Spurrier will receive a one-time $2 million payment if he’s fired without cause in 2011. The payment drops to $1.5 million in 2012 and $1 million in 2013. Under the previous agreement, he received $500,000 for each year remaining on his contract.
Another Gamecocks coach was rewarded Friday by the board for the improved performance of her team.
Women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley, whose team has won 10, 14 and 18 games in her three seasons in Columbia, received a three-year contract extension to 2016 and a $25,000-a-year raise, which brings her total annual compensation to $675,000.
Also, if Staley stays at USC through March 2013, she will not have to repay USC the $150,000 the school spent to buy out Staley’s contract at Temple, where she coached previously. The former Olympian turned down a chance to return to her alma mater, Virginia, after this past season.
“To get the program where we want it to go, it takes someone of Dawn’s stature to be able to do it,” Hyman said. “We’re on the cusp of some wonderful opportunity here with women’s basketball.”
The board also approved plans to build a new softball stadium at the site of Beckham Field and renovate the football practice field off Bluff Road.
A new softball stadium would increase seating to 1,350 from 700 at an estimated cost of $8 million. The school must build the softball stadium to meet NCAA gender standards after constructing a new baseball stadium.
The work on the football practice field would cost an estimated $1.5 million and include new turf, drainage and irrigation systems, lighting, filming towers and goal posts.
No completion dates were announced for the projects.
Meanwhile, a new six-year, $19 million apparel deal with Under Armour is being worked out by lawyers, Hyman said. The company is working on standardizing uniforms for Gamecocks teams next season.