Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh finally knocked off the school's rival Ohio State. Not only was it a thrilling victory for the Wolverines, but the win helped propel Michigan into the College Football Playoff. The victory also locked up the Big Ten East crown.
That latter accomplishment netted Harbaugh a $500,000 bonus from the university. So what is doing with the bonus? He's putting in a swimming pool! And if there's enough left over, he's flying you all out to help him dedicate it!
Kidding. On a recent episode of the"Inside Michigan Football" radio show, the head coach announced the very cool way he and his wife Sarah are giving back to the university.
"We decided any bonus money that I am to receive through this season will be redirected to reimburse U of M athletic department employees who have stayed while taking a voluntary or mandatory pay reduction during the last 18 months during the pandemic," Harbaugh, 57, said.
Last June, Harbaugh, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel, and men's head basketball coach Juwan Howard all took a 10% pay cut for the 2021 fiscal year. Several other high-ranking administrators and head coaches did the same.
The university also imposed pay cuts on staff based on their salary. Employees earning between $100,001 and $150,000 received a 7.5% wage reduction, while employees making between $50,001 and $100,000 had a 5% pay cut. Employees earning below $50,000 didn't have to take a pay cut.
Harbaugh's current contract pays him about $4 million annually. While half a million dollars is already a sizable bonus, Harbaugh could more than quadruple that in the next month. Here's a look at the potential bonuses he can earn:
- $1 million for winning the Big Ten title game
- $200,000 for qualifying for a New Year's Six bowl game
- Up to $125,000 for winning Big Ten and National Coach of the Year awards
- $500,000 for reaching the College Football Playoff
- $1 million for winning the national title
At a minimum, Michigan is almost a lock to make a New Year's bowl game. If Michigan wins the Big Ten title game against Iowa, they'd surely make the College Football Playoff, too, adding another $1.5 million to the pot.
Harbaugh's big focus will be finishing this season strong. After all, it's not just the players and fans counting on him—the whole university will be rooting hard for the Wolverines.