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$300,000 “retention incentive” kicks in for Holgorsen to remain at WVU

DAILY MAIL FILE PHOTO An automatic incentive in his contract kicked in for West Virginia University head football coach Dana Holgorsen, seen in a November loss to Texas. A one-time, $300,000 “retention incentive” rewarded Holgorsen for remaining at WVU, which finished 2013 with a 4-8 record.

West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen received the $300,000 payment included in his contract for still being the Mountaineers coach March 1.

“All line items in his contract were certainly honored,” said Mike Fragale, WVU’s assistant athletic director for communications.

The $300,000 “retention incentive” is one of the perks included in the six-year contract Holgorsen signed in 2012. The entire contract is worth up to $20.5 million with salary and incentives combined.

Retention incentives are common in collegiate athletics, Fragale said. He didn’t immediately know if any of WVU’s other coaches have similar bonuses built into their contracts.

The payment is supposed to provide incentive for a coach to stay at a current school, Fragale said.

Holgorsen’s total compensation, with bonuses, was $2.5 million in 2013. He’s set to receive $2.7 million before extra payments this year.

The $300,000 incentive is one of several included in the contract. On Dec. 8 of every year Holgorsen is still coach he receives $75,000. A one-time $50,000 retention incentive was also due to Holgorsen on March 1 last year.

The payments must be made in a lump payment no later than 120 days after they’re due, according to the contract.

The football team finished with a 4-8 record last season.

In June 2013, WVU announced the school needed to enact an employee pay freeze and an increase tuition in order to combat cuts in state funding. Athletic department finances come from a different source, a WVU official told the Daily Mail at the time.

WVU spokesman John Bolt confirmed Thursday the pay freeze is still in effect.

Contact writer Dave Boucher at 304-348-4843 or Follow him at

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