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Willing to pay: NDSU will pony up for coach

NDSU head football coach Craig Bohl arrives back at the Fargo Jet Center terminal on Monday, after returning from Laramie, Wyo., where he will take over as the new head football coach. (David Samson / Forum News Service)

When North Dakota State athletic director Gene Taylor first heard the dollar amount that the University of Wyoming was offering a head coach, he knew there would be no chance for the Bison to match it.

So Taylor didn’t even try.

Wyoming may be a similar size to NDSU in terms of enrollment, but the salary structure of its football staff is much higher. Bohl’s five-year contract with the Cowboys could be worth more than $1 million per year if certain incentives are reached. The deal is similar in structure to his deal at NDSU. It’s just full of higher amounts.

His new Wyoming annual base salary is $300,000 with additional guaranteed compensation of $450,000 that increases by $50,000 each additional year. He’ll receive a $50,000 speaker and appearance fee and academic incentives between $25,000 and $50,000 depending on the cumulative grade-point average of his team.

Like NDSU, where he received 3 percent of gross home football ticket sales, his Wyoming attendance bonus is based on the number of season tickets sold. For instance, he’ll receive $20,000 if between 5,000 and 5,999 are sold, all the way up to $70,000 if 10,000 or more tickets are sold.

He’ll also receive a $750 a month housing allowance.

Meanwhile, Taylor said the salary for a new coach will most likely be about the same as the current one for Bohl.

“Certainly, we don’t want to go backwards,” Taylor said. “Obviously a lot of that will depend on the experience and what the candidate brings to the table.”

Bohl’s base salary is $206,500 with annual increases of 5 percent. His performance bonuses, media and appearance fees and ticket sales compensation added up to an estimated $360,000 or more. That is not at the top of the Missouri Valley Football Conference, Taylor said.

“We may structure it somehow differently in terms of how you get to the final number,” Taylor said. “But I don’t see us going back a great deal because we want to get the best coaching candidate out there.”

Kolpack is a sports writer at the Fargo Forum

Jeff Kolpack
Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.