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July 31, 2021

Details of Craig Smith’s 6-year, $12.6M contract with the Utes

SALT LAKE CITY — Craig Smith signed a contract with the University of Utah on Saturday to become the new head coach of the men’s basketball program, locking in the former Utah State coach for six seasons with the Runnin’ Utes.

His contract, which was obtained by KSL.com Monday, is worth approximately $12.6 million over the six years, with a salary of $1.85 million his first season as coach for the Utes. That salary figure is without the added bonuses Smith could earn over his tenure at Utah or the other incentives laid out in his new contract.

Smith comes to Utah at a much lower salary figure than what Larry Krystkowiak made his last season with Utah, which was approximately $3.9 million, before being let go by the university. But it’s also a major pay boost for Smith, who recently signed a contract extension with Utah State in December that paid him a base salary of $775,000, according to his contract that was obtained by KSL.com at the time.

As part of his departure from Utah State, Utah agreed to pay $400,000 of his approximately $1.1 million buyout.

Smith’s new contract runs through March 31, 2027. He’ll make a base salary of $300,000 per year, in addition to $550,000 for radio and television revenue, $550,000 for appearance fees and speaking engagements, $400,000 for Utah’s contract with its official outfitter (currently Under Armour) and a deferred compensation of $50,000 each season that goes to a 403b retirement account.

Also part of his contract, Smith receives an incremental $100,000 pay raise each season — $50,000 for radio and television and $50,000 from his appearance fees. He’ll also receive a $150,000 payment if he remains head coach with the program by Jan. 15, 2025.

As with any head coaching position in the NCAA, Smith receives incentive based salary bonuses based on basketball ticket sales, regular season standings in the Pac-12, postseason accolades, national rankings and the team’s academic progress rate, or APR.

In addition, Smith receives several other benefits such as a vehicle, spouse and family travel to all away games, 50% undergraduate tuition for eligible children, and tickets to other athletic events at the university.

Should Smith leave Utah for another position or for another reason before his contract expires, he’ll owe the university money based on the time left of the contract, which is as follows:

  • Year 1: $11,000,000
  • Year 2: $8,500,000
  • Year 3: $6,000,000
  • Year 4: $2,500,000
  • Year 5: $1,000,000

However, if athletic director Mark Harlan is no longer with the university at any point during Smith’s termination, the buyout is reduced by 50%. As part of a “force majeure” part of the contract, in which 25% of games are canceled during a season due to “an act of God, act of nature, epidemic/pandemic, war, act of a governing regulatory body (including but not limited to the NCAA or any governing athletic conference), or any other circumstance outside the control of either party,” Smith’s salary will be reduced 10% for that year.

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