DENVER -- The Colorado Board of Regents unanimously approved a five-year contract for new football coach Mike MacIntyre today and in doing so provided an unprecedented level of the support to the beleaguered program.
MacIntyre's deal will pay him $2 million annually with an additional $300,000 in off-field incentives related to the academic performance and citizenship of his players and community outreach. There are numerous incentives for on-field results as well.
In addition, the university committed at least $2.6 million annually to fund assistant coaches' salaries and adding three new positions specific to the football program. Those positions are a football recruiting director, a football academic director and a football only equipment manager.
In all, the board and the school committed to more than $5 million in salaries for MacIntyre, his staff and support staff annually.
Immediately after the meeting and approval of the contract, Regent Chairman Michael Carrigan issued a challenge to CU fans.
"It's time for Buffnation to step up and open their checkbooks," Carrigan said. "The university has made a significant financial commitment to the success -- and we heard a lot of emails saying, 'Well, I used to give.' or 'I might give.' Now is the time.
"...I call on all of our fans. The university has done what they asked. Now we need them to help."
But there was more.
CU will direct $1.5 million toward immediate enhancements at the Dal Ward Center for improved meeting space for the team and new office space for the three new staffers.
The school also included a clause in the coach's contract related to the planning stages of facilities enhancements such as an indoor practice facility, expansion of the Dal Ward Center and upgrades to Folsom Field.
CU must complete a program plan for those improvements by Dec. 1, 2013 and must award the design contract and sign the design bid build contract for the improvements by Dec. 1, 2014.
"That is an aggressive time line and our full commitment is to meet them," athletic director Mike Bohn said.
Asked why it is an aggressive timeline, Bohn said, "Because of the complexities associated with the project and all the key pieces we want to put in."
If CU fails to meet those deadlines, MacIntyre could leave the school for another job without having to fulfill the substantial buyout clause on his end. That clause calls for MacIntyre to pay the school $2.3 million if he left at any time in 2013, $1.9 million in 2014, $1.6 million in 2015, $1.3 million in 2016 and $1 million in 2017.
CU also agreed to pay the $400,000 buyout in MacIntyre's contract with San Jose State.
CU officials and regents acknowledged planned facilities improvements in and around Folsom Field will depend largely on the level of private giving by CU fans and boosters. The more revenue received in donations the more CU will be able to afford.
"How quickly we go from phase one to phase three will depend on the level of support we get," Carrigan said.
The total cost of facilities improvements can't be known at this time because those plans are so dependent on private donations. Bohn said he anticipates that upgrades will be accomplished in stages as they were for the basketball programs at the Coors Events Center.
"They're going to come together in different pieces," Bohn said. "It's not all going to come together all at once. Obviously now that we have these approvals, it will be a significant part of our appeal to our donor base, which is a significant piece of our continued enhancements."
Colorado fans and donors have never given to the athletic department at the levels that would be required to make a $175-$220 million project feasible within the next few years. CU will likely be able to finance future Pac-12 Conference television revenue and provide $100-$125 million but that would leave CU fans and boosters needing to donate $50-$100 million to complete the full project, including an indoor facility, expansion of the Dal Ward Center, enclosing the north end of the stadium and adding suites and a new press box on the west side.
"The commitments we are making for athletic facilities recognizes this university intends to be a player and a winner in the Pac-12," Carrigan said.
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