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Regents approve contracts for CU Buffs football assistants

Darrin Chiaverini becomes the highest-paid coach on the staff

BOULDER, CO – August 3, 2019: Darrin Chiaverini with some of the receivers during Colorado Football practice and Fall sports media day. (photo by Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

The Colorado Board of Regents has approved the contracts for five new football assistant coaches, as well as a restructured deal for offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini.

On Thursday, the Board approved the contracts, 7-2.

A new, three-year deal for Chiaverini, who was promoted to offensive coordinator by first-year head coach Karl Dorrell, was approved, along with two-year contracts for Danny Langsdorf (quarterbacks coach), Demetrice Martin (cornerbacks), Brett Maxie (safeties), Mitch Rodrigue (offensive line) and Chris Wilson (defensive line).

The regents do not vote on contracts below $250,000 in annual salary, so new tight ends coach Taylor Embree had his contract (two years, $200,000 annually) submitted to and approved by chancellor Phillip DiStefano.

CU has also given outside linebackers coach Brian Michalowski a new two-year contract worth $200,000 annually, replacing the two-year, $185,000-per-year deal he signed 16 months ago.

Technically, the salary pool for assistants in 2020 is $3.425 million, which would be the most in CU history and up from the pool of $3.1 million in 2019. However, each of the coaches will take a temporary, five-percent salary reduction for the 2020-21 fiscal year because of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Combined, that will save the athletic department about $171,250 for the fiscal year and drop the salary pool to $3,253,750.

Chiaverini, entering his fifth season at CU, becomes the highest-paid coach on the staff after signing a three-year deal worth an average of $600,000 in base and supplemental salary. He is scheduled to make $550,000 this year (minus the 5 percent reduction); $600,000 in 2021 and $650,000 in 2022.

Under previous head coach Mel Tucker, Chiaverini was receivers coach and had an annual salary of $400,000. His new contract replaces the two-year deal he signed 17 months ago.

Chiaverini was one of four coaches retained by Dorrell, along with defensive coordinator Tyson Summers, running backs coach Darian Hagan and Michalowski.

While Chiaverini and Michalowski received new deals, Summers and Hagan will continue with the contracts they signed in February of 2019.

During Thursday’s vote, regents Jack Kroll and Linda Shoemaker voted against the contracts, which was not a surprise.

Shoemaker, who has been on the board since 2015, has never voted in favor of a contract involving football coaches. She removed herself from the table when a contract extension for previous head coach Mike MacIntyre came to a vote in June of 2017 and has voted “no” the last five times football contracts have come to the board, including for Tucker in December of 2018 and Dorrell in March.

Kroll, who joined the board in 2017, voted in favor of football contracts the first two times he had a chance, but has voted against them the last four times.

Contract breakdown

Below are the contract terms for Colorado’s football assistant coaches:

Coach, Position: Term, Annual Salary

Darrin Chiaverini, Off. Coordinator/WRs: 3 years, $600,000 average

Tyson Summers, Def. Coordinator/linebackers: 2 years, $500,000*

Chris Wilson, Defensive line: 2 years, $410,000 average

Mitch Rodrigue, Offensive line: 2 years, $387,500 average

Danny Langsdorf, Quarterbacks: 2 years, $362,500 average

Brett Maxie, Safeties: 2 years, $337,500 average

Demetrice Martin, Cornerbacks: 2 years, $300,000

Darian Hagan, Running backs: 1 year, $225,000*

Taylor Embree, Tight ends: 2 years, $200,000

Brian Michalowski, Outside linebackers: 2 years, $200,000#

* Summers is in the second year of a three-yea r contract, while Hagan is in the second year of a two-year deal.

# Michalowski received a new two-year deal, including a $15,000 per year raise, to replace the contract he signed 16 months ago.

Note: Chiaverini has a salary of $550,000 in 2020; $600,000 in 2021; and $650,000 in 2022; Wilson has a salary of $400,000 in 2020 and $420,000 in 2021; Rodrigue has a salary of $375,000 in 2020 and $400,000 in 2021; Langsdorf has a salary of $350,000 in 2020 and $375,000 in 2021; Maxie has a salary of $325,000 in 2020 and $350,000 in 2021.