Reviving the Colorado football program has landed Mike MacIntyre a plethora of coaching honors over the past month.
It’s also landed him a new contract and a significant raise.
MacIntyre and CU have finalized a deal that will pay him $16.25 million over the next five years, through the 2021 season.
“I am ecstatic that we will be at University of Colorado for the foreseeable future,” MacIntyre, 51, said in a press release by the school. “There’s no place my family and I would rather be. We absolutely love it here, the people have been great and I truly believe this is just the beginning.
“The support from the administration has been tremendous, as has the enthusiasm from the fans. Together we have come together to accomplish something special. The future is bright for Colorado football.”
MacIntyre’s previous deal, which ran through the 2018 season at around $2 million per year, made him the lowest-paid head coach in the Pac-12. His new salary — an average of $3.25 million per year — ranks in the top half of the conference, according to a USA Today database of coaches’ salaries released in October.
According to CU, MacIntyre will earn $3.1 million next season with “modest increases annually” throughout the remaining four years of the deal. The contract is subject to the approval of CU’s Board of Regents.
“For us to be successful, we need to have continuity, and to be able to extend Mike and have him here really sends a message to the recruits that we’re committed, we’re committed long term and we’re going to be a really successful program moving forward,” athletic director Rick George said. “Having this extension, I think, is a great indicator of the confidence we have in Mike, but also where we think the program is going long term.”
In four years at CU, MacIntyre has a 20-31 record, with half of those wins coming this past season. After going 10-27 in his first three years, MacIntyre guided the Buffs to a 10-4 record this season.
This season, the Buffs won the Pac-12 South division — their first division title since winning the Big 12 North in 2005. They also had just the eighth 10-win season in program history and played in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29, falling to Oklahoma State, 38-8.
MacIntyre earned roughly $400,000 in bonuses for this past season, including a $200,000 bonus for taking the Buffs to a bowl game for the first time in nine years.
CU’s turnaround was one of the top stories in college football this season and MacIntyre has earned the Dodd Trophy, Walter Camp award, ESPN Home Depot award and the FWAA/Eddie Robinson award. He was also named the national coach of the year by the Associated Press, CBS Sports and SB Nation.
In addition, MacIntyre was voted Pac-12 coach of the year by the Associated Press and by his coaching peers; and he was named the AFCA Region 5 coach of the year.
MacIntyre is also a finalist for the American Football Coaches Association national coach of the year award (announced Tuesday), and the Paul “Bear” Bryant coach of the year award (announced Wednesday).
George said MacIntyre’s new contract is not a reaction to one great season, but a reward for four years of success on and off the field.
“We evaluate everything that we’re doing, and we just don’t evaluate current success,” George said. “We look at it over a four-year term and we look at the progress that we’re making, the coaching staff that we have on board and the recruiting class. We look at all those things. There’s a lot to being the head coach that’s sometimes out of football. We take all of those things together and we look at it.
“The timing is right and Mike deserves it.”
In addition to signing MacIntyre to a new contract, the Buffs are trying to fill two current vacancies on the coaching staff, as they look to replace defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt and cornerbacks coach Charles Clark, who both left CU for Oregon.
George said that MacIntyre, who was in Tampa, Fla., on Monday for the national championship game, is in the process of making those decisions. There is a bit of urgency as the recruiting dead period ends on Thursday and assistants can begin visiting recruits, as they make a final push toward national signing day on Feb. 1.
“The key for us is we want to make the right decisions, but we want to do it in a timely fashion, because we know recruiting kicks up against on Thursday and we want to be out there as full staffed as we can be,” George said.
CU has been in the lower half of the Pac-12 in terms of assistant coaches’ salary pool. As the Buffs make new hires and evaluate their returning coaches, the salary pool will increase.
“It’ll obviously be increased,” George said, “but we’re going to look at what’s best for Colorado.”
Originally signed to a five-year deal when hired in December of 2012, MacIntyre was given a one-year extension in February of 2014. That extension did not include a raise. … Graduate assistant Corey Edsall, who has spent two years working with the defense, is leaving CU to coach tight ends at Connecticut. Edsall’s father, Randy Edsall, was recently hired as the new head coach at UConn.