In a historic move within college football, Texas A&M announced the firing of head coach Jimbo Fisher on Sunday, accompanied by an astounding contract buyout exceeding $77 million, marking it as the largest in the history of college football.
Jimbo Fisher, who arrived at Texas A&M seven years ago with significant acclaim after a successful stint at Florida State, led the Aggies to a 9-1 record and an Orange Bowl victory in 2020. This performance earned him a fully guaranteed $94 million extension through the 2031 season.
Reasons for Firing: Jimbo Fisher
However, the team’s performance fell short of expectations in the past three seasons, with a 5-7 record last year and a current 6-4 record this year, including losses to all three ranked opponents they faced.
Financial Implications: Jimbo Fisher
The buyout for Fisher is an astounding $77,562,500, according to USA TODAY Sports’ college football coaches salary database. The buyout terms stipulate that 25% of the total amount is due in a lump sum within 60 days of termination, with the remaining balance paid in equal annual installments starting 120 days after termination and continuing through the end of the contract in 2031.
While the buyout is a significant financial commitment, Texas A&M appears well-positioned to cover it. The university’s fundraising arm, the 12th Man Foundation, reported substantial net assets of $239.5 million, with $112.2 million designated as endowment funds. The foundation also reported $135.2 million in contributions for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022.
Bjork, addressing the financial implications, stated that the buyout would be funded by both the 12th Man Foundation and the school’s athletics department. The foundation would cover the first payment of 25%, while the athletics department would handle the subsequent annual installments.
In response to Fisher’s termination, Texas A&M’s athletic director Ross Bjork announced a national search for a new head coach, emphasizing that this decision was essential for Aggie football to reach its full potential. President Mark A. Welsh expressed full support for this decision, stating that it results from a thorough evaluation of the football program’s performance and aligns with the best interests of the overall program and Texas A&M University.