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Jim Harbaugh, Kirby Smart Earn Top Contract Bonuses Among CFB HCs for 2022 Season

Doric SamJanuary 10, 2023

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 09: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates with fans after beating the TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at SoFi Stadium on January 09, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

With the 2022 college football season officially in the books, the bonus money earned by FBS coaches has been revealed.

According to Steve Berkowitz of USA Today, coaches earned a total of over $12.2 million in bonuses, with Michigan's Jim Harbaugh and Georgia's Kirby Smart leading the way. Harbaugh reportedly earned $2.05 million by the end of the year, while Smart was rewarded $1.35 million.

Last year, the single-year bonus total was nearly $13.6 million. However, Berkowitz noted that TCU's appearance in the national championship game marked the first time that a private school advanced through the College Football Playoff, and head coach Sonny Dykes' contract is not publicly available.

Berkowitz added that the 2022 total bonus money doesn't factor in the automatic contract extensions picked up by nine coaches this offseason that are worth over $24 million in later years.

Smart, who led Georgia to a second straight national championship on Monday night, earned over $1 million in bonuses for the first time since 2017. Last year's national title campaign resulted in $850,000 in bonuses, but he didn't win the SEC championship in 2021. Also, his new contract terms kicked in this season, resulting in a higher payout.

Despite the Wolverines falling short of their national title aspirations, Harbaugh earned achievement-based bonuses. Per Berkowitz, he will still be entitled to that money if he decides to leave Michigan for an NFL head coaching position.

This is the second straight year Harbaugh has earned at least $2 million in bonuses, but he notably donated over $1.5 million of his 2021 earnings to Michigan athletics department employees who took pandemic-related pay cuts.