The University of Wisconsin looked long, hard and far to find its new defensive coordinator after Dave Aranda took the same position with LSU a few months ago. UW announced the hire of Justin Wilcox just days before national signing day in early February.
What wasnâ€™t know at the time was the financial package given to the new DC after the old one bolted for a contract that will pay him $3.75 million over the course of three seasons. If that package was a message sent to the Badgers, it was one they received and are doing something about.
Thatâ€™s because Wilcox is scheduled to make $1.45 million over the course of his two-year contract with the Badgers. His first year seems eerily familiar, as he will be paid a base salary of $300,000 and an additional compensation package that will up his total pay to $500,000 for the 2016 season.
It is in 2017 where things really change though, as the Badgers are set to pay him a total package of $950,000. There is also a $100,000 bonus to be paid to Wilcox if he is still on staff as of 2018.
While the first season is pretty much on point with what Aranda made in 2015 ($520,000), clearly losing his services for monetary reasons made an impact on UWâ€™s athletic board. Putting together a package that ups the ante by nearly double in one years time is truly impressive.
It also puts Wilcox up near the top of the pay scale for coordinators in the Big Ten and around the country.
Now, it will be all about making sure that monetary commitment is returned by equally impressive results on the field. If not, he may not be around to see that $100,000 bonus in early 2018.
The other defensive staff hire this offseason was that of Jim Leonhard, and he is scheduled to make $225,000 this upcoming season. It is a modest $10,000 improvement over the pay for former defensive backs coach Daronte Jones, who left for a position with the Miami Dolphins this offseason.
One big nugget from Gallowayâ€™s article is also the fact that UW has allowed a larger pool of money for head coach Paul Chryst to spread out to his coaching staff. What isnâ€™t known is the exact amount of the increase, and it wonâ€™t likely be known until the rolling contracts are renewed this summer.