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Originally published October 30, 2012 at 8:02 PM | Page modified October 30, 2012 at 10:24 PM

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Mike Leach's Washington State contract includes plenty of financial incentives, on top of $2.25 million annual salary

Washington State football coach Mike Leach will make $25,000 if the Cougars win the Apple Cup, and there are other incentives for bowl games, high graduation rates and top-25 and top-10 national rankings.

Seattle Times staff reporter


Washington State @ Utah, noon, Pac-12 Networks


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Mike Leach is not only the most well-compensated employee in the history of Washington State University — by far — he also has a number of attainable incentives that could boost his $2.25 million annual salary even higher.

Leach, the WSU football coach, signed his first contract earlier this month, obtained by The Seattle Times via a public-records request.

Among other incentives in the five-year deal, Leach can make $25,000 for winning the Apple Cup, $75,000 for getting to a non-BCS bowl game and $100,000 for a BCS bowl.

A top-25 final ranking would bring $50,000 and the top 10 would land $100,000. If the Cougars become the No. 1 public school in Pac-12 graduation rates, it's worth $25,000, or $15,000 for being in the top four Pac-12 public schools.

The contract stipulates a five-year rollover, triggered in December 2013, when Leach would be two seasons into his contract. If neither party opts out of the rollover provision, it annually becomes a five-year agreement.

Leach has buyout responsibility if he leaves WSU before five years have expired. He would owe $2.25 million if he left before Dec. 31 of this year; $1.8 million if it happened anytime in 2013; $1.35 million in 2014; $900,000 in 2015; and $450,000 in 2016.

If WSU terminates Leach without cause, it owes him 60 percent of his remaining aggregate base salary, which is $2 million per year. Thus, if he had two years left on his deal, the school would owe $2.4 million, or 60 percent of $4 million.

Before Leach was attracted by WSU almost a year ago, the highest contract given to any WSU employee was the $1 million deal signed by former basketball coach Tony Bennett.

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