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Cristobal signs extension through 2016 the night before practice begins.

So, as you can read in this morning's Miami Herald, Tuesday night, head football coach Mario Cristobal and FIU extended their marriage through June 2016, which is longer than my daughter will live if she ruins another one of our surroundsound speakers that she's never supposed to touch.

As far as a potential divorce, unless Cristobal violates his contract in some way, FIU would have to pony up two years salary or 906,366 to Cristobal. If Cristobal wanted to better deal FIU and move on to where he's not the fourth school in a two-school town, it'll cost him a year's salary, $453,183 to buy his way out of the contract. That's double the $200,000 it reportedly would cost Middle Tennessee State coach Rick Stockstill if he caught crazy and wanted out of a deal that could pay him $1 million a year in a few years.

In the Sun Belt, Cristobal's new base salary of $453,183 puts him behind North Texas' Dan McCarney, who goes into his first season with the Mean Green with a $475,000 base salary. Both McCarney (12 years as FBS/Division I head coach) and Stockstill (temptations from elsewhere) have bonuses packages that put almost another $100,000 on their deals before incentives. Cristobal received a $50,000 bonus Tuesday and will get another one next June 12. In addition, each June 30, he gets a "retention bonus," of $25,000.

(That's how fast your life can change when you're a coach or professional athlete -- you get roster bonuses and retention bonuses, schools and teams way of saying, "Way to not get fired!")  

With the plans they have for the stadium and hopes for the athletic program, FIU not stupid enough to do the euphemistic "go in a different direction" just when the football program's marching properly  since going Division I/FBS/FDS/Whatever They're Calling Big Boy Football These Days. FIU was motivated.

Cristobal likes working at FIU, so close to where he grew up. His wife's active in the community. These two busy people have a toddler and an infant, which means having the family support system within babysitting distance is invaluable. And any coach in that situation who doesn't think about that will be reminded of it by his wife. Cristobal was motivated to get this done, too, besides the obvious benefits to his career, his bank account and recruiting.

Cristobal wants to take care of his assistants, too, so he took a little less salary scratch. There's a $112,000 bump in the budget for the football program that was earmarked for various things, including some extra jack for the assistants. The coordinators have contracts. The rest have salaries, but not contracts.

Anyway, I'm writing this late at night. And posting it early in the morning. And in a nod to both those times...




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