NIU football’s Rod Carey set to get $70,000 in bonuses for MAC Championship win, bowl appearance and more


Coach Rod Carey at the Sept. 6 game against Northwestern University.

By Frank Gogola

Football head coach Rod Carey is in line to receive bonuses in the sum of $70,000 for the Huskies’ performance on and off the field.

Carey is scheduled to make a base salary of $400,000 for the period beginning Jan. 1, 2014, and will get bonuses worth 17.5 percent of his 2014 contract.


• Carey will receive a $10,000 bonus for the team being crowned MAC West champions or champions. Each full-time assistant coach will get a $2,000 bonus.

• For the team winning the MAC Championship game, Carey will receive a bonus of $25,000. All full-time assistant coaches will get additional compensation of $3,000.

• Carey is also in line for a $25,000 bonus for being the head coach when the team plays in a bowl game. He’ll receive the bonus as long as he remains the head coach through the Boca Raton Bowl game and doesn’t accept another job before the game. Each full-time assistant coach will get a bonus payment equal to one month of their 2014 base salary.

• Additionally, Carey will receive a $10,000 bonus and each assistant will get a $2,000 bonus for the team achieving a Graduation Success Rate greater than or equal to 80 percent. According to an Oct. 28 news release, the football team posted a Graduation Success Rate of 91 percent, which is eighth among FBS schools, second in the state and first in the MAC. The Graduation Success Rate measures a university’s ability to graduate student-athletes.

Carey could have also received a $25,000 bonus for being named MAC Coach of the Year and a $100,000 bonus for participating in a New Year’s Six bowl game. P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan head coach and NIU alumnus, won the coach of the year award, and the Boise State Broncos, of the Mountain West Conference, won the Group of Five bid into a New Year’s Six bowl by virtue of being the highest ranked Group of Five team by the College Football Playoff selection committee.

Previous coaches’ contracts

Former head coach Dave Doeren, who’s now at NC State, signed an initial contract of $371,004 on June 21, 2011, but received an extension effective Jan. 1, 2012, that bumped his base salary up to $420,000, according to an April 11, 2012, Northern Star Article.

Prior to Doeren, head coach Jerry Kill, who’s now at Minnesota, earned an annual salary of $340,000, according to an April 29, 2010, article from the Northern Star. Joe Novak, Kill’s predecessor, had a salary of $200,000, according to an April 16, 2004, Northern Star article.

Doeren’s 2011 Huskies won the MAC West division title, earning him a $10,000 bonus, similar to the one Carey will get. Doeren’s assistant coaches got only $1,000 each compared to the $2,000 Carey’s will receive.

When the Huskies beat the Ohio Bobcats in the 2011 MAC Championship game, Doeren received a $25,000 bonus, the same as what Carey got. Again, Carey’s assistant coaches got a higher bonus; they received $3,000 each, while Doeren’s pocketed $2,000 apiece.


Per Carey’s contract, NIU has arranged for him to have “free golf privileges at a golf course or club located in the general area of DeKalb.”

Carey is allotted 30 tickets to each football home game and eight tickets to each NIU non-football home event for use by guests “to aid university business promotional efforts of the football program and other institutional interests.” He’ll similarly receive 30 tickets each year for a bowl game if the Huskies should go. He also receives tickets for away games; while no figures for the amount of away game tickets are given, Carey’s contract says he will receive away game tickets that are “consistent with our established away game ticket policy.”

Carey is also afforded the use of a courtesy automobile from a local dealership while he is the head coach at NIU. If no courtesy automobile is available the NIU will provide him with a stipend, according to the contract.

Additionally, Carey is allowed “to negotiate for an receive compensation from approved sponsors and endorsements including radio and TV outlets and appearances.” No figures are given for his time on various coach’s shows.