With Eli Drinkwitz on the way out at Appalachian State for Missouri, it’s time to consider the buyout.
Drinkwitz’s contract, a deal to which he agreed to last December that ran through the 2023 season, calls for a buyout equaling Drinkwitz’s base salary for each year remaining on the deal, no matter whether Drinkwitz received written permission to pursue and accept the job from App State athletics director Doug Gillin.
Drinkwitz’s annual base at App State is $425,000. With four full years remaining, that means App State should receive $1.7 million plus whatever else is agreed upon in extra liquidated damages, as specified in his contract.
It’s a far better number than what App State received from the departure of Scott Satterfield to Louisville in 2018. Satterfield’s last contract with the program called for a buyout of his base salary amount, also $425,000. Drinkwitz’s contract will yield more than $1 million more.
Drinkwitz is expected to officially be announced as the next Mizzou head coach on Tuesday. Missouri's Board of Curators is expected to discuss the contract in a meeting at 9 a.m. EST Tuesday.
Drinkwitz’s contract calls for buyout payments to come before the end of every contract year, and there’s no language that appears to prevent that number from being supplied in totality.
Besides his yearly base, he also earned a retention bonus of $15,000 per month, as well as an annual fund/personality rights payment of $145,000 per year. In total, Drinkwitz was set to make $725,000 every year of his App State contract.
He would see a dramatic increase as an SEC coach at Missouri. The predecessor, Barry Odom, spent four seasons with the program and earned a contract extension last season. Odom’s new deal ran through 2024, paying him $3.05 million annually, according to the multiple reports that followed his dismissal on Nov. 30.
Odom was a Missouri lifer who played for the program from 1996 to 1999. He was a graduate assistant coach there starting in 2003, moving onto roles as director of recruiting and director of football operations before earning a spot as an assistant.
Odom coached safeties from 2009 to 2011, went to Memphis as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach from 2012 to 2014 then returned to Missouri in a similar capacity. He took over for Gary Pinkel as head coach before the 2016 season.
Drinkwitz replaced a similar lifer, Satterfield, who played and coached at App State before he was plucked away by Louisville.
Satterfield also garnered a big pay increase for his first Power Five job, making $3.25 million a season. He led the Cardinals to a 7-5 record this season, earning ACC Coach of the Year.
Drinkwitz spent one season at App State. Before that, he served as the offensive coordinator at N.C. State for three seasons. He held a similar post at Boise State the season prior.
App State went 12-1 this season, winning the Sun Belt Conference title game and earning a No. 20 ranking from the College Football Playoff. The Mountaineers will play Ala.-Birmingham in the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 21.
UPDATE: The Columbia Daily Tribune reported around noon Monday that Drinkwitz will be paid $4 million per year with his new Mizzou contract. The Missouri Board of Curators must approve the contract before official announcement, and are planning to hold a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning.