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Terms of New App State Head Football Coach Shawn Clark’s Five-Year Contract Released

By Tim Gardner

Terms of new Appalachian State head football coach Shawn Clark’s contract were released to the public on Appalachian State’s athletics web site on Dec. 26, 2019. And thanks to the university’s financial generosity, the Head Mountaineer will likely never again struggle financially if he ever did.

A trend the last 30-plus years of major college coaches making piles of money and being given various colossal incentive perks continues and Clark’s contract is similar to many of his head coaching peers.

Clark signed a five-year deal with a base salary worth $425,000 per year on Dec. 13. The contract ran until Dec. 31, 2019 and then from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 per each year from 2020 through 2024.

Appalachian State Head Football Coach Shawn Clark

Clark is eligible for numerous bonuses, including a retention bonus of $15,000 a month per year of the contract.

He also agreed to allow the university to, according to the contract, “use his likeness, image, voice, signature and goodwill appurtenant to photographs, portraits, video recordings and video recordings in all forms of media, whether written, electronic, wireless or any other medium now known or hereafter in conjunction of promoting Appalachian State activities, events or interests, whether or not they are related to the (football) team.”

Terms of the contract also mandate that Clark must attend a minimum of 25 Yosef Club (Booster Organization) or university events or meetings each contract year. “The dates of and activities at such appearances will be reasonably determined from time to time by the athletic director,” the contract says. However, the university also recognizes that Clark’s primary responsibility is to the coaching of the team, recruiting of players and any activities will not conflict with his primary duties.

Clark will receive a royalty in equal monthly installments of $145,000 for the year 2020; $170,000 for the year 2021; $195,000 for the year 2022;  $220,000 for the year 2023; and for $245,000 for the year 2024.

Clark also has both academic and performance-based incentive clauses included in his contract. He receives $15,000 if the football team’s Academic Progress Rate is greater or equal to 950.

Additionally, he receives $7,500 per fall or spring semester that the team’s grade point average is equal or above 3.0. The maximum amount is $15,000 per year. Clark receives $5,000 if the team’s GPA is above 2.7, but below 3.0. He cannot receive both bonuses in a single semester, the contract indicates.

Clark also receives competitive bonuses, including:

For participating in a non-New Year’s Six Bowl-$25,000.

For winning a non-New Year’s Six Bowl Game-$15,000.

For appearing in a non-College Football Playoff (CFP) New Year’s Six Bowl-$25,000.

For winning a New Year’s Six Bowl Game that is Non-CFP-$10,000.

For appearing in a CFP playoff-$50,000.

For winning a CFP playoff game-a $25,000 bonus.

For winning the CFP national championship-$50,000.

Clark’s contract also features other incentives, including:

Should Appalachian State win the East Division and appear in the Sun Belt Conference Championship, he would receive an additional $25,000 bonus.

Should Appalachian State win the conference championship game, he would receive a $50,000 bonus.

If Clark is named the Conference Coach of the Year, or the National Coach of the Year, he will receive a $20,000 bonus.

Should Appalachian State win nine or more games in a season, Clark earns a bonus of $25,000.

If Appalachian State sells more than five percent more tickets than the year before in all of its home games, Clark is entitled to a $10,000 bonus. “The number sold for each year shall be verified by an auditor selected by Appalachian State University in its sole director or otherwise agreed by the parties,” according to the contract.

Clark also receives a courtesy car or a car allowance that will not exceed $600 per month. And he has access to an annual coaches salary pool of $1,550,000.

Clark is entitled to receives 16 priority level tickets to all home games and 16 priority level tickets to all post-season games. Clark also can receive four parking passes to all home games, four suite tickets and use of a provided stadium box/suite for not less than one home game each season.

His family is allowed to travel to all away and post-season games with the team at no cost.

Clark is also allowed to earn extra income with prior written agreement with Appalachian State University’s athletic director and the chancellor. The income will not exceed more than 20 percent of his base salary during the academic term and 38.4 percent during the non-academic term.

Finally, Clark is also eligible to receive all employment-related benefits that are normally available to other ERA non-faculty employees, which may include group family health insurance, group family life insurance and a retirement program.

Both parties of the contract can end Clark’s employment without cause. Should Clark end the contract, before Jan. 1, 2021, he would owe Appalachian State $5 million in a buyout. The amount goes down to $3 million before Jan. 1, 2022; $1.5 million by Jan. 1, 2023; $500,000 by Jan. 1, 2024; and $250,000 by Jan. 1, 2025.

Should Appalachian State end the contract without cause, it would pay Clark $5 million in a buyout. The amount goes down to $3 million before Jan. 1, 2022; $1.5 million by Jan. 1, 2023; $500,000 by Jan. 1, 2024; and $250,000 by Jan. 1,


A list of pay of Major College Head Football Coaches in 2019 can be found at this link:https://www.boydsbets.com/highest-paid-college-football-coaches/