Texas A&M sacked head football coach Jimbo Fisher last Sunday, but not before buying out his contract for a stunning $76 million. The decision is part of a shocking turn of events that’s shaken the sports world.
“Although this is a major, major financial decision that comes with many consequences, we have a plan, and we will not let this impact the performance or the culture of our entire athletics program,” said Texas A&M athletics director Ross Bjork.
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High hopes come crashing down
Fisher took over at Texas A&M in 2018, signing a 10-year contract through the 2031 season. He started his tenure successfully, leading the team to three bowl games, including an Orange Bowl win in 2020. But since then, the team’s fortunes have fumbled, leaving management no choice but to let Coach Fisher go.
Luckily for Fisher, his contract included a substantial buyout clause, and now the university owes him a stunning sum. According to The Associated Press, Fisher is owed between $75 and $77 million, making it the largest known buyout ever given to a fired head coach. This hefty amount will be paid to Fisher regardless of whether he finds a new coaching job.
Bjork said $19 million (25% of his salary) is due within 60 days. The remaining balance will be paid in several installments, with the first installment of approximately $7 million due within 120 days.
To fund these payments, the university plans to use unrestricted contributions within the 12th Man Foundation (a Texas A&M scholarship program) for the first one-time payment. The remaining portion will be financed from growing revenues and adjusting the annual operating budget of the athletic department.
Bjork says the school has learned from Fisher’s contract and that their decision will not impact the overall performance or culture of the athletics program.
“We were stuck… something was not working to reach our full potential,” Bjork said. “We should be relevant on the national scene.”
Texas A&M beat Mississippi State 51-10 on Saturday, but Fisher’s dismissal was based on the overall record of the football program over the past several years. Fisher was 45-25 in six seasons at Texas A&M.
As the Texas A&M football moves forward, the university hopes the decision to fire Fisher will turn the program around. But the financial repercussions of his contract will be felt for years to come.