Since arriving in Stillwater, Mike Gundy has made the Oklahoma State Cowboys the model of competitive consistency. The result is that Gundy’s salary, contract, and net worth are some of the best in all of college football as well as market-leading in the Big 12.
Mike Gundy’s Salary and Contract in 2023
Following an almost unprecedented period of sustained success, Oklahoma State penned Gundy to a new contract in February 2022 that included a significant salary raise and prolonged job security. During his 18 years in Stillwater, the Cowboys head coach has compiled a 156-75 record while taking the team to a bowl game in 17 consecutive seasons — winning 11 of them.
Gundy’s contract is a rolling five-year deal that initially carried him through the 2026 college football campaign at the time of signing. However, an additional year gets added on to the contract at the end of each season, meaning that the Oklahoma State head coach enters the 2023 season with a contract that secures his services through 2027.
“Secures” is the right word to use. The buyout structure of Gundy’s contract ensures it’s not fiscally beneficial for the team to part ways without cause or for Gundy to seek alternative employment.
If Oklahoma State wanted to buy their head coach out of his contract, it will currently cost them $25,837,500. Converse to most head coach contracts, it actually gets more expensive for the Cowboys to push Gundy away from Stillwater. The dollar amount of the 75% buy-out clause increases every year as a result of his rolling contract and annual salary increase.
Meanwhile, if Gundy wanted to leave Stillwater to pursue an opportunity elsewhere, the OSU head coach — or, more likely, his new employer — would be on the hook for $6 million. The only way that figure will reduce is if the Cowboys stop renewing his rolling five-year contract for any reason.
So, how much is Gundy’s salary for the 2023 college football season and beyond?
The Oklahoma State head coach commands a $500,000 base salary through the term of his contract. The majority of his earnings come from supplemental compensation, which for 2023 is $5.525 million. He also receives an annual $1 million retention bonus, while banking a $600,000 retirement fund contribution.
Gundy’s salary for 2023, therefore, totals $7.625 million. His supplemental income increases by $125,000 each year, so that in the current final year of his contract — 2027 — Gundy’s salary will be $8.125 million.
Is it worth it? Oklahoma State athletic director Chad Weiberg certainly seems to think so.
“There is an unprecedented change occurring in college athletics,” Weiberg acknowledged while announcing Gundy’s new contract in 2022. “Investing in our successful football program at this time is an investment in the future of OSU Athletics and the continued growth of Oklahoma State University.”
Gundy’s Net Worth
Based on the rolling five-year contract period from 2023 through the 2027 college football season, Gundy’s net worth is $39.375 million. Of course, that doesn’t take into account the salary accrued during the first 18 years of his tenure in Stillwater.
It also doesn’t take into account any potential bonuses earned as a result of on-field success. Given the amount of sustained success that Gundy has achieved throughout his tenure, it’s likely that he’ll add at least one of the following, if not more, during the next five years.
Oklahoma State has reached a bowl game in each of the past 17 seasons. Under the terms of his 2022 contract extension, Gundy will earn $62,500 if the Cowboys reach a non-New Year’s Six Bowl. If that seems an odd amount, it’s worked out as 1.5 months’ base salary.
With a non-cumulative bonus structure, Gundy can exchange that bonus for a $125,000 salary boost if the Cowboys reach a New Year’s Six game or play in the Big 12 Championship Game. That is trumped by a $150,000 bonus available for winning the conference, finishing first in the Big 12 at the end of the regular season, or reaching the College Football Playoff.
Is simply reaching the College Football Playoff the height of Gundy’s aspiration? You better believe it isn’t.
“We’ve already established OSU Football as a contender on the national stage,” Gundy is quoted as saying in the team-issued statement announcing his contract extension. “My excitement with our administration and their vision has me looking forward to long-term success on and off the field.”
If that vision results in an appearance in the College Football National Championship Game, Gundy will net a salary bonus of $350,000. Being crowned national champion boosts that by $750,000 instead, making the maximum bonus Gundy can earn in any one season $900,000.
Throw in the use of a fueled-up automobile, a 25-man party suite for football home games, a membership to the Karsten Creek Gold Club, and four tickets for Oklahoma State men’s basketball home games, and Gundy has one of the sweetest deals in all of college football. You could say he’s earned it.