Scott Frost, fresh off an AAC Championship with his undefeated UCF Knights, is set to become the next Nebraska head coach after agreeing to terms on a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Huskers.
The deal will keep Frost in Lincoln through the end of the 2024 season, at the least. At $5 million per year, Frost’s salary ties Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy as the 11th-highest head coaching salary in the country based on reported 2017 numbers and third among Big Ten coaches – just behind Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ($6.4 million a year) and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh ($7 million a year).
When Athletic Director Bill Moos announced that Mike Riley had been fired as the Huskers’ head coach on Nov. 25, he was asked about potential financial restrictions he would have in the search for the next head coach.
“It’s not an unlimited budget,” Moos said, despite the Huskers becoming fully vested in the Big Ten conference this season and earning a near $51 million payout. “I try to be sensible when we’re doing this but at the same time we have to compete in the market, and we’re willing to do that. Those are usually pretty big dollars.”
Frost’s annual base salary almost doubles what Riley earned this past season. Riley made $2.9 million in 2017 and was set to make $3 million in 2018 and $3.1 million in 2019.
The “it’s not an unlimited budget” comment from Moos likely has something to do with the fact that Frost is not the only head football coach the Huskers are currently paying. Nebraska still owes former coach Bo Pelini $128,009 each month through February of 2019. Riley, if he doesn’t accept another job, will be owed $170,000 every month through February of 2021.
With big money comes big expectations, and Frost returns to Nebraska with significant expectations of reviving a program that hasn’t won a national championship since he left. But, if the length of his deal is any indication, Frost will get all the time he needs to try and meet those expectations.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.