Details of new Kansas baseball coach Dan Fitzgerald’s six-year contract became available late Thursday night and included among them was a clause outlining what the parties referred as “Incentive Year Seven” for participation in the NCAA Tournament.
Currently written as a six-year agreement worth $3.16 million total, the contract states that Fitzgerald is entitled to a one-year contract extension, known as “Incentive Year Seven,” in the event that the baseball team achieves and Fitzgerald attends and coaches the team in the NCAA Tournament during the term of the agreement.
For clarification purposes, the contract spells out that Fitzgerald’s contract would be extended for one additional year — through June 30, 2029 — if the Jayhawks reach the NCAA Tournament during the 2024 season.
According to the contract, “Incentive Year Seven” is only available for the first time Fitzgerald reaches the NCAA Tournament with Kansas during the initial agreement.
Kansas last made the NCAA Tournament in 2014.
In addition to the potential extension, Fitzgerald’s contract includes bonuses for the following:
• Two weeks’ additional salary for finishing in the top 5 in the Big 12 standings
• One month’s additional salary for a Big 12 regular season championship
• One month’s additional salary for a Big 12 tournament championship
• One month’s additional salary for NCAA Tournament participation (separate from Incentive Year Seven)
• One month’s additional salary for NCAA Super Regionals participation
• One month’s additional salary for a World Series appearance
• Two month’s additional salary for an NCAA championship
Dan Fitzgerald introduced as new KU baseball coach
As for the buyout portion of Fitzgerald’s contract, it states that if KU’s new coach is terminated without cause in Year 1, he is entitled to three years’ compensation. The buyout clause then escalates in reverse order from there, with the buyout decreasing by one half years’ compensation for each year Fitzgerald is in the program.
For example, termination without cause in Year 2 would cost the athletic department two and a half years’ compensation, termination without cause in Year 3 would cost the athletic department two years’ compensation and so on through a half years’ compensation through Year 6 or Incentive Year 7.
The contract explains that the exact same buyout scale — only from Fitzgerald to KU — applies in reverse should Fitzgerald elect to leave Kansas for “another coaching position at any NCAA member institution or any other coaching or non-coaching positions, including but not limited to Major League Baseball, including its Player’s Union and Minor League Baseball.”
If Fitzgerald were to be terminated for cause, KU only would be on the hook for what it owes him in his contract to the point of termination and nothing more.
Section 12-C of the contract outlines the definition of cause, which includes but is not limited to serious criminal conduct, major violations of NCAA or Big 12 rules, violation of KU’s policies on discrimination, harassment or retaliation and more.
The contract was signed by Fitzgerald, KU Athletic Director Travis Goff, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod and Fitzgerald’s agent, Jason Chaney, on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.