Cal will pay new football defensive coordinator Art Kaufman more than his predecessor but has protected itself by giving him a shorter contract.
Kaufman, who replaced Andy Buh after the Bears allowed a school-record 45.9 points per game last season, signed a two-year deal valued at $550,000 per season, not including potential performance incentives, according to documents obtained by this newspaper. Kaufman also got a one-time $20,000 signing bonus.
Buh came onboard with new coach Sonny Dykes before the 2013 season and received a three-year contract worth $500,000 per season — all of it guaranteed. After the Bears’ 1-11 campaign, Buh was fired without cause on April 2, an athletic department spokesman said, leaving the department on the hook for the remaining $1 million on his contract.
An athletic department spokesman said no settlement or compromise was reached with Buh and confirmed the university is “fulfilling obligations to the contract” with monthly payments over the next two years.
Buh, who could not be reached for comment, is obligated by terms of his contract to seek employment. Cal’s financial obligation to him would be reduced by the amount of his salary in a new position.
Kaufman, 55, who came to Cal from Cincinnati, will cost Cal more in the short term, but less if the two part ways before his two-year contact ends.
Kaufman will earn $225,000 in base salary each season, plus a $325,000 talent fee. He will receive the entirety of his $550,000 annual salary if fired anytime before the end of his first season, but only $340,000 if dismissed prior to the end of the second season.
If Kaufman decides to leave Cal prior to April 30, 2015, he must pay the university $75,000.
Kaufman’s salary is line with others at his position in the Pac-12 Conference. He’ll earn more than new Washington defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski ($485,000), but less than UW paid Justin Wilcox ($750,000) in 2013. Wilcox left Washington after last season, following coach Steve Sarkisian to USC.
Kaufman can earn bonuses ranging from $10,000 to $35,000 if the Bears play in various bowl games. He will earn $25,000 if Cal’s 2014 defense is ranked among the nation’s top-50 in fewest points per game allowed, and $25,000 if the ’15 squad is ranked among the top-25.
Cal ranked second-to-last nationally last season in scoring defense — 122nd out of 123 Football Bowl Subidivision teams. Kaufman’s Cincinnati defense ranked 14th nationally, allowing 21.0 points per game.