The second marriage of Mack Brown and North Carolina football is a fascinating one. UNC is a rare power conference school that doesn’t necessarily prioritize football. Men’s basketball is king, and even non-revenue sports like field hockey have a prominent position in the school’s sports canon.
After feeling the sting of a $12 million buyout for Larry Fedora in 2018, UNC decided to go with a retrofit, bringing Brown out of retirement to coach the Tar Heels. This was a second Chapel Hill stint for Brown, who coached UNC from 1988-97.
Both parties are getting a favorable deal here. UNC gets a good coach on a friendly contract, while Brown gets to stay in the game at a job with much less pressure than his previous gig at the University of Texas.
Mack Brown Contract
Mack Brown is currently under contract through the end of the 2027 college football season. His most recent contract extension came in February 2023; he will be 76 at the end of his current deal.
Mack Brown Salary
Mack Brown’s total compensation package at North Carolina is $5 million.
Brown’s $5 million salary is amassed from several different contract categories:
- $900,000 base salary
- $3.3 million supplemental compensation (paid in quarterly installments of $825,000)
- $500,000 as part of a multimedia deal with Learfield
- $200,000 as part of a multimedia deal with UNC/Nike
- $100,000 additional annual allowance
Mack Brown Buyout
If North Carolina wants to fire Mack Brown without cause, it will owe him whatever base salary remains on the life of his deal.
Thus, this is a very team-friendly deal. Rather than owing the full balance of his compensation – $20 million through 2027 – UNC would only owe Brown four years of his $900,000 base salary, or $3.6 million.
It’s not clear how likely it is that UNC would want to fire Brown in the first place, short of Tar Heel football completely going in the toilet over the next year or two.
Even less likely is the idea that a 72-year-old Mack Brown would jump to any other job. However, if he did, the program poaching Brown would owe North Carolina half the buyout if he was fired. Ahead of the 2024 season, that figure is currently $1.8 million.
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