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Let’s quickly review Matt Campbell’s contract

Full disclosure: I refuse to spend the next five days leading up to the biggest Iowa State home football game since 2002 discussing Matt Campbell’s future employment, so let’s get this out of the way now.

Because I have seen some inaccurate numbers tossed around the last few days, here is a quick look on the details of Campbell’s contract with Iowa State.

Need to knows…

Campbell’s salary ($265,000 base plus $1,735,000) in 2016 was right at $2 million. It’s important to note that while that base number stays the same, the “additional salary” number dropped to $935,000 for 2017.

— That isn’t all. If you read deep into Campbell’s contract, there is something called a “supplemental benefit plan” that is worth $800,000 a year that kicked in on Jan. 1, 2016. This too is considered guaranteed compensation. As it was explained to me, instead of cash going into Campbell’s pocket, it’s essentially going into a retirement account. This was likely something that Campbell requested while negotiating the contract.

After every season, regardless of performance, Campbell is due a $100,000 raise.

— Below is a look at guaranteed compensation throughout the remaining four years of Campbell’s contract….

2018: $2.1 plus incentives
2019: $2.2 plus incentives
2020: $2.3 plus incentives
2021: $2.4 plus incentives

The incentives are: Campbell will receive a generous $500,000 bonus in every season that Iowa State wins six games. Campbell will receive $250,000 if the Cyclones tie for or win a Big 12 title. Campbell will receive $100,000 for any bowl game wins and $50,000 if he wins Big 12 Coach of the Year. So for the sake of conversation, if Iowa State were to win a bowl game this year, Campbell would be paid $2.6 million. If Iowa State wins the Big 12, wins a bowl game and Campbell is Coach of the Year, he would receive $2.9 million.

— The buyout: It’s a great contract for Iowa State in the sense that if another school were to come and poach Campbell after this season, they would immediately (or within 45 days) owe Iowa State the remainder of the guaranteed contract, which I have valued at $9.3 million right now. It works the other way too. Let’s say that Iowa State were to fire Campbell after this season, they would owe him the $9.3. The buyout language, which you can read below, is very clear-cut.


There are the facts, now let’s focus on Saturday’s monster game that is for a share of first place in the Big 12.