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 Sep 24, 2022, 8:18 PM
  • Harsin signed a six-year contract in December 2020.
  • He was nearly fired after the 2021 season.
  • Auburn has a .500 record under Harsin.

“[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 is barely above .500 (8-9) and needed two miracles to beat Missouri in Week 4.

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?

If Bryan Harsin is fired without cause before his contract expires on Dec. 31, 2026, he’s due a buyout equal to 70% of the remaining value.

If, for example, he’s fired on Dec. 31, 2022, he’s due 70% of his annual salary from 2023-26 ($21.4 million), which is approximately $15 million.

If Bryan Harsin leaves before his contract expires, he owes Auburn a buyout:

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

This buyout is suddenly relevant as several college football insiders believe 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. “Harsin still has excellent credentials in the region, going 69-19 at Boise State with three conference titles and four AP Top-25 finishes. He always seemed pegged for a Pac-12 job, and while this wasn’t the path anyone envisioned, ASU could certainly do worse given its challenges.”

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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.