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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 17, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Buyout clauses among items revealed in UW documents

As is common for news organizations covering large public institutions, The Seattle Times requested a number of documents from UW related to the firing of Nick Holt and two other assistants following last season, and the hiring of their replacements.

The Times recently received 350 pages of documents as a result.

Much of it is routine correspondence related to the official process of hirings and firings — getting office phone numbers set up for the new coaches and getting rid of old ones, etc.

And there’s nothing that contradicts the known timeline of events — the first official documents related to Holt’s firing are dated on the night before he was fired on Dec. 31. The first official documents related to the hirings of replacement Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon are dated Jan. 2, the day each was officially hired.

Those documents include the unsigned Memorandums of Understanding sent by UW to each coach, as well as some e-mails detailing some negotiating of Sirmon’s contract with his agent, David Dunn. The most notable of that is that UW agreed to pay off Sirmon’s $75,000 buyout clause in his contract with his previous employer, Tennessee. (The documents also indicate Sirmon and Wilcox signed their MOUs on Jan. 2).

The first official correspondence from UW to Tosh Lupoi is dated Friday, Jan. 13 — a proposal of a Memorandum of Understanding. Lupoi was officially hired on Monday, Jan. 16 as defensive line coach and defensive run game coordinator. Neither side has made any secret that the negotiations with Lupoi lasted a little while, so it’s not a real shock that he appears to have had the MOU in hand over the weekend before officially being hired the following Monday.

UW has already released the basic details of the contracts for each of the new assistants — here’s the blog post from January with that information.

The documents the Times received includes the full MOUs and contract proposals for each coach, though not the signed final documents (it’s unclear if there are any differences between the proposals and those that were ultimately signed).

There are no real surprises in either the MOUs or the contracts (no boat for Lupoi, if you were wondering).

Each coach has pretty standard incentives for bowl games — for the position coaches, it’s $4,000 for any bowl, $8,000 for the Alamo/Holiday, $16,000 for a BCS bowl and $20,000 for the National Title game; and for the two coordinators those totals are $5,000, $10,000, $20,000 and $25,000. All of the coaches also appear to have received a $15,000 moving allowance.

Maybe most interesting are a couple of the buyout clauses. Wilcox, who has a contract through Dec. 31, 2014, has a clause that he must pay UW $1 million if he leaves any time prior to the end of the deal for any job at another Pac-12 school other than head coach.

Lupoi’s contract takes him through Feb. 6, 2015 (through the letter-of-intent signing day for the Class of 2015) and states that he must pay back all remaining compensation due him if he takes a position at another Pac-12 school other than head coach or defensive coordinator.

New offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau, whose contract also goes through Dec. 31, 2014, would have to pay UW $500,000 if he leaves for a job at another Pac-12 school other than head coach.

The documents also reveal that the fired UW coaches were due to receive their settlement payments on Jan. 25.

As we detailed at the time, Holt, Jeff Mills and Mike Cox were all due to receive one year’s salary (and that’s a settlement that they got regardless of whether they later found other jobs, as did both Mills —- now defensive coordinator at New Mexico; and Cox — now linebackers coach at Kansas State).



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