Coaches Contract Negotiation

Hamilton Gets a New Deal

leonard hamiltonThis is my first coaching contract negotiation piece, ever. Upon researching my topic, I realized that the numbers in coaching contracts get very confusing. So, while listing the different incentives in Florida State basketball coach Leonard Hamilton‘s new contract, I figured I’d explain them a little more in depth:

  • Hamilton will receive a base salary of $205,000
  • Add $500,000 per contract year for radio and TV compensation*
  • Add $630,000 if Hamilton fulfills his public relations responsibilities*
  • Add $165,000 for various endorsements and for Hamilton’s cooperation in the university’s Nike contract*
  • All in all, Hamilton could receive $1.5 million per contract year. This contract is set to expire on April 30, 2014.

* = Payable through the Athletic Development Fund (ADF)

If you thought the numbers stopped, they haven’t; here are some bonuses that could be had:

  • $50,000 – FSU wins ACC reg. season championship
  • $50,000 – FSU wins ACC tournament
  • $50,000 – FSU participates in NCAA tournament
  • $50,000 – FSU makes Sweet 16
  • $50,000 – FSU makes Elite 8
  • $100,000 – FSU makes Final Four
  • $75,000 – FSU wins NCAA tournament
  • $50,000 – FSU ranks in top 10 of AP top 25 poll
  • $25,000 – if named ACC’s coach of the year
  • $50,000 – if named AP Nat’l coach of year
  • $15,000 – team graduation rate is in between 65% and 84%
  • $25,000 – team graduation rate is above 84%

Whew, now I am out of breath. As you can see, good ol’ Leonard Hamilton is able to make some serious coin with this new contract.

7 replies on “Hamilton Gets a New Deal”

Does it seem strange that he makes less for winning the championship than for a Final Four berth?

Also, couldn't they at least PRETEND that graduation rates are important and bump those grad rate bonuses a little higher?


If Hamilton leads the Seminoles to the Final Four, he will be receiving the money for getting into the NCAA Tourney, making the Sweet 16, Elite 8, and the Final Four. The national publicity gained for making the final 4 is huge, incomparable to losing in the Elite 8.

The university is willing to pay that $100,000 to gain that whole week of national publicity that would occur between the Elite 8 game and playing in the semis/finals. While winning the championship is nice as well, and hence there is a bonus for that, the amount of exposure from winning does not increase as significantly as going from the Elite 8 to the Final 4.

Either way, it's still not a bad payday.


Great JOB once AGAIN:)

During the Negotiations of this Contract were the Details pretty much set? What part of the Contract were you able Negotiate? Was there anything in the Contract that you weren’t able to get for your Client? If you did get what you wanted what was it? Like I said GREAT JOB:)


so the agent who negotiates this contract gets a percentage of what parts? and for coaching contracts is it typically in the 3-5% range? thanks, this was a very informative post.

An agent will make 3-5% on the full consideration on the contract, including base + PR + endorsements. If the agent negotiates the endorsements separately (which he usually doesn’t if the school wants it to go through them) he may obtain 20% on that portion of the contract. As for the incentive bonuses, that is a 3-5% commission as well, which will obviously accrue if they are achieved.

Justin pointed out the reasoning behind the tournament escalators. Once you make the Final 4, its already a pretty big deal… winning the NC is just icing on the cake. What is unique about Hamilton’s K is that the escalators compound (i.e. the money continues to add for each round he wins). Usually whatever bonus a coach gets for winning tourney games will increase only slightly per round and cancel out anything that came before it.

There is most definitely a longevity clause in the K as well which should give Hamilton a significant bonus if he is still the coach in 2014.

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