INDIANAPOLIS — The perks of Purdue football coach Jeff Brohm’s contract include a car allowance of $1,250 a month, all net income from his program’s sports camps and up to $20,000 a year of Nike merchandise.
That’s on top of his average annual salary of $300,000 for the length of his 8-year contract, a highest possible performance bonus of $2.52 million and supplemental compensation ranging from $3 million to $5 million each year.
Those are just some of the lucrative caveats in Brohm’s contract that rank it the eighth best of NCAA Division I football head coaches in the nation, according to Daniel Kalish, managing partner with HKM Employment Attorneys in Seattle.
For the past several years, through public records requests, Kalish has collected contracts for head football college coaches.
“Since I’m an employment lawyer, I then analyze the contract, summarize it, provide it and then rank it according to the best contract in terms of salary, duration, payout, golden parachute, extras (and more) from the coach’s perspective,” Kalish says.
Brohm, 50, is part of a top ten list that includes (starting with the best contract in the nation, according to Kalish) Dabo Swinney, Clemson; Nick Saban, Alabama; Steve Sarkisian, Texas; Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma; Ryan Day, Ohio State; Mel Tucker, Michigan State; Kyle Whittingham, Utah; Brohm; Bret Bielema, Illinois; and Scott Frost, Nebraska.
The only other Indiana coach to make the list of 97 is Ball State’s Mike Neu, ranked with the 92nd best contract in America. Kalish made a public records request for Indiana coach Tom Allen’s contract but has not yet received it.
When it comes to annual compensation only, Allen ranks ahead of Brohm, according to USA Today reports from November. Brohm makes $4.8 million compared to Allen’s $4.9 million.
Allen jumped ahead of Brohm in that category in March when, after going 14-7 the past two seasons, he signed a new deal that came with a $1 million raise.
A subjective list: What matters most?
Brohm “respectfully passed” on an IndyStar request to talk about the rankings through Matt Rector, an associate communications director with Purdue football.
While his record at Purdue, 19-25, may not seem to warrant his lucrative contract, he is not the worst performing coach in the top 10.
Michigan State’s Tucker, ranked with the sixth-best contract went 2-5 in his first season at the school after going 5-7 at Colorado in 2019. Newly-hired Illinois coach Bielema, ranked ninth on the list, was 29-28 in his last college coaching job at Arkansas from 2013-17. And 10th-ranked coaching contract Nebraska’s Frost has a record of 12-20.
The two top contracts belong to coaches with highly successful records, Swinney, 51-5 and Saban, 51-4, since Brohm was hired in 2017. They’ve combined for 5 of the last 6 national championships.