The Kansas football team’s new offensive coordinator, Chip Lindsey, signed a four-year term sheet with Kansas Athletics when head coach Les Miles hired Lindsey away from Auburn.
Lindsey’s deal is worth $2.65 million dollars over the course of four years, with KU having an option it must exercise in order for the final year of the deal to kick in.
Lindsey will coach at KU through the 2022 season if the athletic department exercises the option — terms state that decision must come “on or before” Dec. 15, 2020, which would be after the conclusion of the regular season in the second year of the deal. If it’s not exercised, Lindsey will only be owed compensation for the third year of the deal, but not the fourth.
The three-year terms without the fourth would pay Lindsey $1.85 million.
A USA Today list of FBS assistant salaries for 2018 published this week showed Lindsey made $1.1 million as Auburn’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach this year.
Lindsey’s deal with KU pays him a base salary of $225,000 each year with a “personal services payment” added to that each year: $275,000 in 2019, $325,000 in 2020, $575,000 in 2021 and, if KU exercises the fourth year, $575,000 in 2022.
If Lindsey is still at KU on Feb. 15, 2021, he will receive a retention bonus of $100,000, as well.
Incentives of the deal include:
• 20 percent of base salary for KU making the national title game
• 16 percent of base salary for KU making the College Football Playoff
• Eight percent of base salary for KU being chosen for one of the New Year’s 6 bowls
• Four percent of base salary for KU playing in any other bowl game
Those incentives are non-cumulative, so he would receive payment of just one bonus if multiple incentives were achieved in the same season.
Additionally, Lindsey would receive $25,000 for KU playing in the Big 12 championship game.
The terms also state how any possible termination of the deal would play out.
If Lindsey leaves KU to become an FBS head coach, KU would be owed nothing.
If Lindsey left to work for another program in “any role other than as a head coach” before Dec. 15, 2019, KU would be owed 60 percent of the current year’s salary and personal services payments. Those percentages decrease to 50 percent in 2020 and 20 percent in 2021, with Dec. 15 being the cutoff date in each year.
If KU terminates the deal without just cause, Kansas Athletics will pay Lindsey an amount of release payments “equal to the sum of his remaining base salary and personal services payments” over the course of two years from termination “or the otherwise unexpired term of the contract, whichever is longer.”
By signing on, Lindsey agreed that if employment was terminated before the fourth year being exercised, Kansas Athletics owes him $800,000 for Year 3, but nothing for Year 4.
New KU offensive line coach Luke Meadows, hired Friday, also signed a four-year term sheet with Kansas Athletics, with only the 2019 and 2020 seasons being guaranteed.
Meadows, who coached the offensive linemen at Eastern Michigan the past two seasons, signed on for a $200,000 annual base salary at KU, with the third and fourth years being optional years for KU.
If KU wants to exercise the third-year option it must do so on or before Dec. 15, 2020. A fourth year option would need to be exercised on or before Dec. 15, 2021.
According to USA Today, Meadows made $95,000 at Eastern Michigan in 2018.
Terms of Meadows’ deal with KU state he would owe his current employer nothing if he left to take an FBS head coaching job or to become the head coach at South Dakota State, where Meadows went to school and would later become an assistant for 10 seasons.
If Meadows were to leave KU for any other coaching position before Sept. 1, 2020, Kansas Athletics would be owed 50 percent of Meadows’ Year 1 salary.
Should his KU deal be exercised for a third year but he left for a coaching job that wasn’t head coach at an FBS program or South Dakota State before Sept. 1, 2021, Kansas Athletics would be owed 50 percent of his Year 3 salary. The same amount would be owed if Meadows were retained by KU for a fourth year and then he left before Sept. 1, 2022 for any reason other than to become an FBS head coach or head coach at SDSU.
If KU were to terminate the deal without “just cause,” Meadows would receive release payments equal to the sum of his remaining salary over the course of 12 months.