Kevin Wilson’s contract details, per open records request

Indiana University’s investment in Kevin Wilson is now clear.

A copy of Wilson’s new contract amendment obtained by The Herald-Times through an open records request shows that the IU football coach’s base salary remains on par with his previous contractual agreement at IU, but his benefits have increased substantially.

Wilson is due to make $542,000 in base pay through the 2021 football season as part of his new six-year deal, after having been listed as making $542,227 in 2015. But he’ll also receive annual promotional income beginning at $1,608,000 — a significant bump from the $600,000 in promotional fees he received in his original contract.

All told, Wilson will receive $2.15 million for coaching IU’s football team this season.

The promotional income, which covers additional responsibilities like public appearances, media communications and sponsorship agreements, will increase annually by at least $100,000 during the length of the deal.

So Wilson stands to make $2.25 million in 2017 and $2.35 million in 2018. He’ll make $2.55 million in 2019 when the promotional fee increases by $200,000. The fee returns to a $100,000 increase across the 2020 and 2021 years of the deal, and by the end of contract in 2021, Wilson will be in line to make $2.75 million during the final year.

According to the USA Today coaching salary database, Wilson reportedly made $1.31 million in total compensation as IU coach in 2015.

The new contract also includes bonuses for bowl appearances. Wilson will receive $100,000 should IU play in any bowl that is not one of the “New Year’s Six” and the payout to the university is less than $2 million. If the bowl payout is $2 million or more, Wilson will receive a bonus of $200,000.

There is also an annual deferred compensation package of $60,000 that the university will deposit into a separate account each year that Wilson remains IU’s coach.

Portions of his original 2011 contract carry over to the new deal, including the annual additional benefit stipend of $100,000. This money is designed to cover personal expenses such as “spouse vehicle/insurance/license, social club membership(s), entertainment for football staff/families, iPad/other electronic devices, family travel and child care that are incidental to the position as head football coach.”

The buyout portion of the contract remains unchanged from the original document, so if Wilson is fired without cause before the deal expires, IU will owe him his annual base salary of $542,000 through the length of the contract. If he were to be fired during the season, IU would also owe him what was left of his promotional fees for that year.

But Indiana’s financial responsibilities to Wilson could evaporate depending on the coach’s next move.

Should Wilson find gainful employment either in coaching or media, IU’s salary obligation to him would be offset dollar-for-dollar by Wilson’s total compensation at his new job. So, for example, if he were to take a new coaching position that paid him more than what he was owed by Indiana, IU would be off the hook completely.


  1. Sounds like Avery standard contract. However, you failed to mention what the “buy-out” provisions are if Wilson is hired away from IU! What would another school have to pay IU if they hired Wildon before the end of the contract, and how much of Wilson’s deferred compensation payments would he forfeit?

  2. Reasonable financial risk for IU, and obviously Wilson is happy. BeatPurdue’s question above is right on target! What is likely to happen to this contract if IU Football becomes, in relative terms, very successful in the next two or three seasons? If IU were to win nine games and go to a major bowl, how likely is it that Glass will have to negotiate another new contract? Let’s say IU begins to win eight games a season, goes to quality bowl games and increases home-game attendance to an average of 50,000 people in the stadium (not ticket sales, but people in seats), with a couple sell-outs each season. What then? One look at Wilson’s new comp plan relative to all the other D-1 football coaches, and its obvious that while greatly improved, he’s still not amongst the top 30 highest paid coaches in America.

    Even in his mid to late 50’s, Wilson will still be considered young enough to be an attractive candidate for a lot of other power-conference football programs in the next three years. That’s the kind of problem I’m sure Glass and IU fans would love to have. I’m hoping Wilson and his family love Bloomington and that IU is confronted with that scenario sooner rather than later.

  3. 1. It’s ridiculous what football coaches are paid.

    2. That being said it looks like a reasonable contract for both IU and CKW.

  4. Bigger things to worry about…

    We’ll be very fortunate if no ‘elite’ college basketball program has their eyes on buying out Crean’s remaining contractual obligations. I hope Fred is working tirelessly to get a lifetime deal done before we lose Tom to barely struggling storied program licking its chops for a new day of respect and validation. Don’t let him slip away, Fred…Don’t you dare let that happen. Need I remind to revisit the filing cabinet folder labeled “Miscellaneous” to read Joey’s plea to the Marquette faithful? Losing Crean could set our program back five weeks…Don’t let that happen, Fred. Defuse and put that ticking bomb to bed and get the Crean deal done.

  5. I’m guessing if the Hoosiers finish strong Crean is safe but if they have another end of season swoon the heat will be too much for Glass to ignore.

  6. Off-topic here….Just was wondering how expensive it would be to try and make arrangements for a Hoosier football game to be played at Lucas Oil? Didn’t Glass have a considerable amount of behind-the-scenes influence in getting the funding concerns pushed through for Lucas Oil? Why not bring a Hoosier game there? OSU vs IU @ Lucas Oil…..? I thought these guys were great marketers?

  7. Crean won’t get fired after this season no matter how it ends. Like it or not, Crean’s going to be IU’s basketball coach for at least two more seasons. It just costs too much to fire him any time soon. Besides, winning 23 to 25 games this season will make it hard to justify spending the money necessary to buy out his contract.

  8. IU bb research team for men is in the process of working on schedule to find the weakest division one teams for pre big ten season to try and reach 25 wins a year…..just another 21st century standard for IU men’s basketball.

  9. Sorry but I hate when people talk of how many basketball wins under CTC. Who are those wins against? I think it is pathetic & a loser mentality to play those teams. A “thug” beating up on midgets. Maybe CTC can pad the win amounts by playing some high school teams.

  10. Beat Purdue: Haven’t been able to find the text of the new KW contract online, but it probably has a term similar to that of 6.01(c) of his original contract, which says that if KW quits he pays IU $500k. It was this kind of thing that led to the big legal stink when RRodriguez was hired by UMich from UWV several years ago. As I recall, after RR took the Meatchicken job UWV sued him to enforce a similar provision and RR wanted UM to pick up that tab. Apparently the brainiacs in Ann Arbor had never heard of open records laws and had no idea that such a clause existed in the RR-UWV contract. Or forgot that their own contract with their own coaches almost certainly has the same terms. Or RR “told them” there was no such term in his contract and THEY ACTUALLY BELIEVED HIM!

  11. This new contract is not a risk. It is a wise investment and it happens to be economical in all aspects of the stated declarations. Peripheral benefits of the investment have already surfaced in the names of Allen, Caton and Hagen. Possibly a LOI was signed and faxed in because of it, we’ll never know for sure. It is a solid, fair contract because the principals involved negotiating it took time making sure it touched all the bases concerned and did so without the emotions fans complain about. A good contract for use in deepening and broadening the foundation of the program.

  12. HC- Yeah, the contract makes sense (if I may distill your post). Both in the strange world of college football where persons earn millions for coaching a recreational activity ($2.5 million the going rate for new hires, e.g., whatshisname at Maryland) but are in thrall to the whims of 18 yr.-olds, and in the even stranger subset of that world known as IUFB, where five straight losing seasons are regarded as reason for optimism.

  13. dingo44, quit while you’re ahead. Crean’s teams have defeated 5 of 6 top-ten ranked teams in the last two seasons. Every major team plays powder puff teams, and Duke, under Coach K, may have played more “midgets” than any other team. And let’s not forget the list of helpless victims that Knight’s IU teams played every year.

  14. Davis and HC- I think you are both right (how’s that for political correctness?) Weird but true that after 5 losing seasons of bad football there’s legitimate optimism because of a contract extension. But guys like Allen and Hagen probably don’t sign on unless Wilson has the long contract. The extension is already helping with recruiting. We got some 2017 recruits prior to 2016- just never happened before. Guys are choosing IU over Penn State, Michigan, MSU, Notre Dame and Wisconsin- tell when that used to happen? Yeah all those guys are choosing IU because of the offense. But now we have athletic guys stockpiled at qb, rb and receiver that might convert to defense to see playing time. The announcers called out IU’s defense during the Pinstripe bowl as not athletic enough on the back end to compete. Getting guys like Morris, Enis and Donavan Hale to convert to the other side of the ball may be just what we need to start building winning seasons.

  15. Hoosier86, People don’t recognize how well the offense plays which is the side that Coach Wilson coaches. The problem has been the defense and I bet the first DC was pushed on Coach Wilson because his record at DC was very poor. Coach Knorr wasn’t Coach’s first choice at DC and with the extension he could get the DC he wanted. People outside of IU see the program on the rise as I do too. I am not saying Coach Wilson is perfect and he even says he isn’t. He has shown how much he has grown as a head coach after starting as a rookie coach so his extension is warranted as the team showed how he has developed a winning attitude. The team came up short this year and I hope the 2016 team does have a winning year. I appreciate that coach doesn’t mince words and holds his team, coaches, and himself responsible for what happens on the field. He doesn’t make excuses and with the new contract he doesn’t wait to make needed changes [I am withholding judgement on the DB coaches for one more season as they have been a weakness the past 5 years] which looks like it has brought great changes on the defensive side.

    I hope Coach’s optimism about the 2016 team shows up on the field; which leads to more wins for IU. It won’t be easy because IU’s conference schedule is even tougher this year so the team will have to play even better than last year to have shot at winning more games. They need to win more games to attract better athletes to beat the better teams in the B1G. One change I hope coach knows he needs to make is to start recruiting kickers and punters and giving them scholarships. I am not sure he can keep on counting to have great kickers and punters without recruiting them. They are too important for team success to leave it up to a walk on to win a game or pin down an opponent.

  16. Harvard, I recently read your posts on Homecoming for Hagan. A couple of your posts were some of the most truthful and honest posts I’ve read on here in a long time. You exposed the success of 2015 IU football season for what it really was. Four close wins against non conference teams and only 2 wins against 2 of the worst teams in the Big Ten. The fixation that some people have with close wins, while not talking about close losses to Southern Indiana and the other non conference teams. How soon some people forget about the Rutgers collapse. I agree with you, the Bowl season has even become a Blue Ribbon ceremony for losing or .500 teams. Going to a bowl game in todays world does not mean the same as it did 5 or 6 yrs ago. Your absolutely right, the powers to be have fixated on close losses. Many are excited about the newest recruiting class, but IU FB did not close the gap on the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State. The gap has only gotten larger. From everything I’ve read, IU’s newest class was closer to the bottom half of the Big Ten.
    The pickup of Mark Hagan my have been the best hire yet. I went to the same High School as Mark and watched him play a lot in High School. He’s an intense leader. When he played at Carmel High School, he not only wanted to win, he wanted to shut out the opponent. I can remember watching a game and they took the starting defense out with Carmel up 56-0 (or something like that) and put the reserves in. He was mad when the other team scored a late td. He cheered hard for the reserves, but he wanted the shut out. He’s a guy that comes from success. He’s a very bright, young assistant that should one day be an excellent head coach. And Harvard, I will do my best to never make you mad. The picture painted by your post in regards to V13 criticism of one of your earlier posts had me in tears. Usually when I write on The Scoop I’m venting, not laughing hysterically at somebody else’s post. Really liked the Walter Payton analogy. And to V13, please know I also admire your positive approach to IU football and the fact the you never lose hope and never give up. Wish I could have your attitude and positive outlook. I have hope for IU football, just not under the current leadership. Mark Hagan, future IU head coach? Hmmmm. Harvard, thanks for the insight and for the entertainment. So many times I’ve just let my eyes flow right past your posts and move onto the next one. I’ll be paying closer attention in the future.

  17. Wow…Thanks a ton, Xavier.

    You probably just caught me on a good day…Most of my stuff is the same old movie….over and over and over and over….etc, etc, etc,

  18. V13- good points about the kickers and punters. I agree they are too valuable to hope walk-ons will always get the job done. Quick story- back in the day, I was a 2 way player and was also the kicker. We used to get stars for anytime we scored and skull and crossbones for our helmets when we caused turnovers or negative plays. I was a decent defensive tackle and led the team in turnovers caused or recovered. But as the kicker, I got a star for every time I kicked an extra point. By mid season, my helmet made me look like an all-american! I played against guys that I know were pysched-out just because my helmet made we look like a much better player than I was…

    Just shows that perception matters. The team is at that glass half full or half empty stage. I’m not typically as optimistic as you, but I really believe they have turned a corner and are about to move up. Last season they played a lot of games with top opponents HOPING to win. They were playing teams like Michigan, OSU, Iowa and MSU that were EXPECTING to win. That mental difference matters. I hope they can make the change in mindset to start expecting to win.

  19. Hoosier, like you I want to see the team build on the near success of last year. What a difference in the season if the defense could have made one extra stop or two. Listening to coach after the PU game he is excited about the players eligible for next year and I hope his excitement is warranted. You made a great point from you playing days on how perception matters. I saw the same thing from the team I coached at won the 4A State Title. Those players finished last in the conference the previous year but where that group of Seniors didn’t expect to work hard enough to win the next year’s team Seniors were determined to go out as winners. As a result the State Title team won many games in the final minutes along with games where they were behind going into the 4th quarter. If IU players can develop that attitude then 2016 could be the turn around season so many of us have been looking toward.

  20. Mount St. Memorial-

    Love your football eruptions in February….But, dude…We just got our b-ball asses handed to us at MSU and it just seems silly to talk glowingly over a 2-6(conference) Hoosier Football team while oblivious to our growing irrelevance in what kept IU’s national relevance in sports afloat for the last three decades….It borders on cutting down an oak tree to enshrine an acorn. Could rolling your acorn around in the yard just wait a few hours?

  21. XAVIER: Harvard does indeed expose a lot of things here (mostly his own psyche), but “the success of 2015 IU football season for what it really was” is not one of them. As many have commented, KW’s career was saved by two wins at the end of five losing seasons. And as I noted, IUFB is a weird, weird universe wherein after five losing seasons we’re optimistic- or at least most of us on Hoosier Scoop seem to be.

    You don’t have hope for IUFB “under the current leadership?” Not irrational given that KW’s record has not been any better than his predecessors. I do have hope, however, but none of us would be IUFB loyalists if we didn’t have large, nay immense, reserves of that. Writing only for myself, allow me to explain my hope “under the current leadership”:

    1. Recruiting has improved. But as someone noted here: “Better recruits but same record as Lynch?” Indeed. What’s up with that?

    2. KW clearly knows what he’s doing when IUFB has the ball. Big hope rides on thoughts that it should not be that hard to hire someone who is no more than generally competent in knowing what to do when the other team has the ball. In other words, IUFB can’t continue to hire totally incompetent DCs forever, can it?

    3. Most important is that KW’s teams have fight in them. The Rutgers debacle was indeed a spectacle to behold and I am flummoxed by it to this day, but otherwise there is simply no comparison of the fight in KW’s teams compared to Lynch’s teams (and a lot of other previous editions of IUFB). The difficult thing is that unlike points per game, total yardage gained/given, and other measures, “fight” is not subject to quantification except in the wins/losses count.

  22. Xavier-

    Did you see what happened just there? I still appreciate your kind words. Thanks again.

  23. Oh, and I do believe you “expose” a decent share of your own “psyche,” blogging F. Lee Bailey.

    Valentine’s Day…? Sunday night…..? Hmmm? In preparation my notes for the O.J. trial tomorrow, I do believe I have room for some snidely remarks on a sports blog frequented by 10 old men and a high school coach.

    Puhhhhhhhleeeeeeeease, …get the hell over yourself, Lee.

  24. Brand recognition……

    So many on the ‘street’ are never their ‘word.’ So many of the ‘word’ you’ll never see the ‘street.’ And somewhere there is ‘davis’ of Scoop: Mr. Complete.

  25. Davis
    I appreciate the points you have made in response to my post regarding the leadership of IU football. I’ll think they are fair and pretty accurate of IU football. I agree that recruiting has improved and that the offense has been excellent, except when Sudfeld was injured. But I also believe IU has had many other seasons of excellent offensive football. I got my season tickets during the Cam Cameron era and most of us remember the Randle El and Levron Williams days. We also had some impressive offensive seasons with Kellen Lewis and James Hardy. Then Ben Chappel came out of nowhere to have some great seasons leading the IU offense. He might have led the Big Ten in passing one of those years, maybe twice. Not sure. Maybe under Wilson they have had better offensive lineman across the board and taken it up a notch. But they’ve had good offense for a long time. I’ve always felt IU’s teams had fight, even when they were getting killed by Wisconsin and others. They just didn’t have the overall talent. So yes, they do have more talented players coming in. But I thought Hepner/Lynch got more out the players they had. No saying they had better talent. Hep was definitely a more likable and excitable personality than Wilson. He loved the fans and the students and He loved being a Hoosier.

    Here’s my problem. Wilson raised some eyebrows when he first came to Bloomington for a few things that happened outside the football field. Some verifiable, some not. I didn’t like what I heard. I also felt like he never took a great interest in the fan base, like Hepner did. My impression of him was, he want’s to coach and that what he gets paid to do, but I don’t have the time or energy to deal with the media or fans. Yes, he wants us in the stands cheering the Hoosiers on, but the investment in the fan base seems a bit insincere. I really feel like he loves to coach, but isn’t that great with everything else that comes along with being a head coach. I might be a little jaded by first impressions.

    Next, I think IU has lost several games during the past 3 years due to poor decision making during the first half of games. Decisions that come back to haunt IU in the second half. Duke game, he declines a holding penalty against Duke on first down that would have made it first and 20 deep in their own territory. Only a few minutes left in the half. Duke scores on next play. Was the Ohio State or Michigan game, goes for it on fourth down on the IU side of the field in the early minutes of the first quarter. 3 years ago, cost IU a bowl game with a loss to Minnesota at home, because of a bad decision to go for 2 after a touchdown in the third quarter. Down 3 instead of 2 late in the waning seconds of the game, we fumble on a backwards, incomplete pass on the Minnesota ten yard line. Had he kicked the extra point earlier, we just run the clock down and kick the game winning field goal. These are my concerns.
    I’m very interested in the upcoming season and I love the hire of Mark Hagan, someone from my hometown (I live in Bloomington now) and someone that played for the Hoosiers. I feel like the key to the upcoming season is going to Richard Lagow. Everyone knows are record during games when Sudfeld couldn’t play. We know what the tangibles Lagow has. We know his stats playing against lesser talent. Can he perform like Sudfeld or better in the Big Ten. To me, he is the key. I’m anxious to see him play and I hope he can fill those big shoes. Diamont was thrown to the wolves 2 years ago. Maybe he steps up as a junior. I think he showed some improvement from his first start to his last start during his freshmen year.

  26. Harvard
    I’m always reading, but not always posting. But over time I have come to appreciate and better understand some of your posts. Sometimes they go over my head and I have to read them over to try to understand what it is your trying to say. An Oswald Chamber’s devotional makes me do the same thing, so that’s a compliment. Unless you’re talking about Tom Crean, then I know exactly what you’re trying to communicate. Not that I always agree with all your opinions and feelings about Crean, but I understand what your saying. What I have come to realize is that somewhere behind those sometimes wordy and elaborate posts, there is some pretty funny stuff that is entertaining. I’ll call it an ability to instantly take words and create a picture or visual that can be very entertaining. Like I said, don’t understand them all, but sometimes one will strike a chord and create a visual that I feel hits the mark.

    I think we are all Hoosier fans and want the best. Whether we are the eternal optimist (V13) or frustrated football fan venting after another frustrating loss (Me) or frustrated basketball fan after another quick exit from the NCAA tournament, I think we are all proud to be a Hoosier and just want our Hoosiers to win.

  27. Xavier, I agree with many of your points but like usual from my coaching days I stay optimistic and if our IU coaches do that they instill fight and players believing they will win. Last year the team was like that but the defense was too poor to pull off the wins. With our new DC [which I think was Coach Wilson first choice for DC unlike the past two] I expect defense to be much better as we have the athletes to play D like NW if the coaching is goof enough.

    Yes early on Coach Wilson wasn’t experienced about being a HC and he showed shortcomings. I think now he does understand and does thinks for the fan base and as some here have said his press conferences sound like he is a HC now. I takes a while to become a HC for someone that never was a HC and last year was the first year he had all players he recruited and I hope that 2015 was the base and the program will improve every year from now on.

  28. Xavier: Although I’m in the “optimist” category on the KWilson version of IUFB, I agree that a lot of questions still linger about him as head coaching material. I don’t get too worked up about isolated in-game decisions ’cause whether a play call was “inspired” or “idiotic” depends so much on what happens on the next play (though I will say it was baffling that KW took the ball out of Redding’s hands in OT v. Duke). I’m not around Bloomington, so I can’t say anything about KW’s interest/relationship with the fan base. Hep certainly did have “that something,” and it’s something that one either has or doesn’t. Salesmen (like politicians) are born, not made, and football head coaches are nothing if not salesmen (vis a vis recruits, fans, donors, etc.). If you are right that all KW really wants to do (and maybe all he’s really good at) are the Xs and Os, then your skepticism is well-founded. HCs also have to be good judges and managers of the coaching staff- KWs third stab at a def. coord. should tell us a lot.

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