The Auburn Tigers have had its share of successful head coaches as well as its share of duds at the position. The Tigers are on a cold streak, as they’re currently paying more people not to be their head coach than they are paying to be their head coach.
Still, there’s a sense of optimism on the Plains about the early tenure of Hugh Freeze. Here, College Football Network takes a look at Freeze’s salary, contract, net worth, and more.
Hugh Freeze’s Salary and Contract in 2023
Auburn is not lacking for money, but the Tigers are paying for several coaches, as they owe Bryan Harsin and Gus Malzahn around $37 million, according to a post from The Athletic’s Chris Vannini.
Still, the Tigers gave Freeze and pretty penny, paying him $6.5 million a year for the entirety of his 6-year contract. Interestingly, the Tigers did not change the terms of Freeze’s buyout, opting instead to continue the trend of paying out 75 percent of his remaining contract in the event of his firing.
This would be paid out over the course of several years and would mean that Freeze would be owed around $19 million if he were to be fired after the 2025 season.
If Freeze leaves for another job, his buyout starts at $5 million and would likely include a clause requiring him to pay more if he were to leave for a rival.
In addition to Freeze’s base contract of $6.5 million a year, he is scheduled to receive a retention bonus of $225,000 for each year he is still employed on February 1.
Freeze’s annual salary ranks ninth in the SEC and sixth in the SEC West. His contract contains “standard clauses about personal conduct,” and his buyout only applies if he’s fired without cause, per Vannini.
However, there is nothing significantly different in this wording than in Harsin’s contract. This is significant given the circumstances surrounding the end of Freeze’s tenure at Ole Miss.
Freeze’s Net Worth
There are conflicting reports about Freeze’s net worth, all ranging between $4 and $12 million. Freeze agreed to several new contracts in his final years at Liberty, all ranging in the $3 to $4 million a year range.
When Freeze was first hired at Ole Miss, he was only making $1.5 million a year, with incentives bumping that to $2.5 million, but he quickly negotiated a new contract and by the time he had to resign, he was making nearly $4.7 million in salary and incentives.
Freeze has been a head coach for over 10 years and has won multiple bowl games, giving him excellent contract incentives. He’s always been able to sign coaching-friendly contracts, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Freeze’s net worth is in that $12 million range.
If he has a successful early tenure at Auburn, the boosters on the Plains will have no qualms about paying to keep him there long-term.
Because of this, Freeze’s overall net worth will continue to grow, and with a winning season in 2023, the odds that he quickly renegotiates his contract to be in line with the rest of the SEC blue bloods are high.