Despite earning a contract extension and pay rise in 2021, Northern Illinois head coach Thomas Hammock’s salary is one of the lowest in the MAC—and all of college football. What does his contract situation look like ahead of the 2023 season, what will the Huskies head coach earn in the upcoming year, and what is the former Northern Illinois running back’s net worth?
Thomas Hammock’s Salary and Contract in 2023
Thomas Hammock, a Northern Illinois alum who made a name for himself running the rock for the Huskies from 1999-2002 and also coached the position in DeKalb for two seasons, was welcomed back to the program as the head coach in 2019. After missing out on a bowl game that year and going winless in 2020, he led the Huskies to a MAC title in his third season at the helm.
Even prior to securing the program’s 12th conference title, Athletic Director Sean T. Frazier handed Hammock a contract extension that aims to keep the Northern Illinois head coach with the Huskies through the 2026 college football season. The contract expires on June 30, 2027—although there is a clause for automatic extension by an additional year.
For the 2023 college football season, Hammock will command a base salary of $552,045.36—an increase of just under $10,000 compared to the previous season. That is just his base salary; however, as the Northern Illinois head coach earns $100,000 annually for donor engagement and can add a further $25,000 retention bonus if he’s still in the post in February 2024.
The 2021 contract extension was met with much mutual back-slapping as Athletic Director Frazier praised the “tremendous strides forward—competitively, academically, and socially” made under Hammock while insisting his head coach was “very deserving of this contract extension, and we look forward to continuing the upward trajectory of NIU Football.”
“My family and I appreciate the opportunity to be at NIU and to lead this football program and be a part of the university community that has meant so much to us,” Hammock said in the media release announcing his contract extension.
“Since I got here in 2019, the leadership of President Freeman, Sean Frazier and [Deputy Athletic Director] John Cheney has been amazing. This extension is another sign of the confidence they have in me and in our staff as we continue to build and grow this program.”
In the year following his contract extension and salary increase, however, Hammock’s Northern Illinois team went 3-9, with multiple calls from the depths of Huskies social media calling for the program to part ways with the man who rushed for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons and ranks 13th all-time in career rushing yards for the program.
There would be some serious financial ramifications if Northern Illinois were to part ways with their head coach. In the event of contract termination outside of cause, the Huskies are on the hook for 100% of Hammock’s remaining base salary in the contract year he is dismissed, 100% of his base salary for the following year, and 50% of the remaining contract base salary.
Hammock’s Net Worth
Over the course of his contract, which could potentially run until June 30, 2028, Hammock has a net worth of $4,288,074.72. This figure combines his incrementally increasing base salary, static retention bonus, and earnings for donor engagement, including the potential one-year automatic extension.
However, Hammock’s net worth doesn’t take into account his potential earnings available through a comprehensive range of performance incentives. These incentives include both academic and athletic bonuses, with the potential athletic accomplishment bonuses as follows:
- Winning Conference Coach of the Year: $25,000
- Winning National Coach of the Year: $25,000
- Winning the MAC West (or co-MAC West champion): $10,000
- Winning the MAC Championship: $25,000
- Appearing in a non-New Year’s Six bowl game: $15,000
- Winning a non-New Year’s Six bowl game: $20,000
- Appearing in a New Year’s Six bowl game (non-CFP): $100,000
- Winning a New Year’s Six bowl game (non-CFP): $50,000
- Appearing in the College Football Playoff: $125,000
- Winning a College Football Playoff game (non-national championship): $75,000
- Winning the College Football National Championship: $200,000
- Winning 10 or more regular season games: $15,000
Hammock can bolster his salary with a range of academic incentives based on the Northern Illinois Graduation Success Rate (GSR), Academic Progress Rate (APR), and Grade Point Average (GPA). There is a potential to earn up to a maximum of $26,000 within the academic year.
To receive the maximum payment, he would need a GSR of at least 80%, an APR of at least 980, a fall and spring term team GPA of at least 2.85, and a cumulative team GPA of at least 3.1.
If success on the football field leads to increased attendance, there is an additional bonus under Hammock’s 2021 contract extension. Once Northern Illinois surpasses 4,000 season tickets sold, Hammock receives 15% of all season ticket revenue.
Furthermore, the Huskies head coach has the use of a courtesy car from a local dealer, access to various ticket options for different sports, and travel expenses for both himself and his family members.