Bryan Harsin Fired: What Is Bryan Harsin’s Buyout at Auburn?

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Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin runs onto the field before an NCAA college football game against South Carolina Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina won 21-17. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
(AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
Andrew Doughty @DoughtyBetMGM Oct 31, 2022, 12:00 PM
  • Harsin signed a six-year contract in December 2020.
  • He was nearly fired after the 2021 season.
  • Auburn is under .500 with Harsin as head coach.

“[I]t would take a special opportunity to get me out of Boise,” Bryan Harsin said at his introductory press conference as Auburn head coach in December 2020.

One year later, that special opportunity was in jeopardy as Harsin sat on the college football hot seat amidst a flood of player and staff mistreatment allegations. While he survived an internal investigation and returned for a second year, the three-time Mountain West Coach of the Year won’t return for a third year, Auburn announced on Oct. 31, one day after another loss dropped Harsin to 9-12 overall.

What Is Bryan Harsin’s Contract?

Bryan Harsin signed a six-year, $31.5-million contract on Dec. 23, 2020. The deal more than tripled his Boise State salary for 2020 ($1.75 million) and came 10 days after Auburn fired Gus Malzahn, triggering a $21.7-million buyout.

Harsin’s salary started at $5 million in 2021 and increases by $100,000 each year through Dec. 31, 2026:

  • 2021: $5 million
  • 2022: $5.1 million
  • 2023: $5.2 million
  • 2024: $5.3 million
  • 2025: $5.4 million
  • 2026: $5.5 million

What Is Bryan Harsin’s Buyout?

Since Harsin was (presumably) fired without cause before his contract expired on Dec. 31, 2026, he’s now due a buyout equal to 70% of the remaining value.

His prorated buyout is approximately $15.8 million, comprised of approximately $800,000 due for the remainder of 2022 and $15 million due from 2023-26.

If Bryan Harsin would’ve left before his contract expires, he would’ve owed Auburn a buyout:

  • 2022: $5 million
  • 2023: $3 million
  • 2024: $2 million
  • 2025: $1 million

That buyout became relevant as several college football insiders believed Harsin could be a candidate at Arizona State after Herm Edwards was fired.

“Like Edwards, Harsin entered the 2022 season with his job fate practically sealed. But he will get another shot to lead a program, and Arizona State would be a much better fit than Auburn ever was,” ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg wrote.

That, however, wasn’t the case. Now the Tigers will embark on a second head-coaching search – led by new athletics director John Cohen – in two years.

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About the Author

Andrew Doughty

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Andrew Doughty is a writer for BetMGM with a focus on college football, NFL, college basketball, and NASCAR. A graduate of the University of Kansas, he previously wrote for Sports Illustrated and HERO Sports.

Andrew Doughty is a writer for BetMGM with a focus on college football, NFL, college basketball, and NASCAR. A graduate of the University of Kansas, he previously wrote for Sports Illustrated and HERO Sports.