Bonamego receives pay increase, incentives in 5-year contract extension

Head coach John Bonamego speaks to the media following the annual CMU Pro Day, Mar. 20 in the Indoor Athletic Center.

John Bonamego is now the highest-paid employee of Central Michigan University. 

Serving as Central Michigan football's head coach since 2015, Bonamego will be making nearly $700,000 per year in base salary and additional compensation for media and promotional appearances.

On Dec. 19, Bonamego and Athletics Director Michael Alford agreed to a contract extension that runs through 2022 with a base salary of $430,000 and annual raises of $10,000. Bonamego will earn $175,000 per year for media and promotional appearances, hiking his total compensation to $655,900 in 2018. 

In his last year of the contract, Bonamego's base salary will reach $470,000 and his guaranteed money will have risen to $695,900 in 2022. 

Bonamego also receives an annual $50,000 retention bonus, which carries over from his previous contract. 

Assistant Athletic Director for Communications and Marketing Jim Knight described Bonamego's contract as "more of the same (as his previous one)," explaining that Alford and former Athletic Director Dave Heeke both set similar goals for Bonamego. Alford incentivized winning the Mid-American Conference, winning a bowl game and keeping student athletes' grade point averages high. 

Knight said Alford sees the five-year extension as a new contract, essentially. Knight also added home game attendance numbers were not a focal point in the contract. 

Bonamego's new contract puts him third in the MAC in highest paid coaches, according to Knight. Toledo coach Jason Candle (over $1 million) and Western Michigan coach Tim Lester ($800,000) are No. 1 and 2 in the conference, respectively. 

Knight added the extension was announced on Dec. 19 because that is when the team found out about the contract after practice in Boise, Idaho, preparing for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. 

Here is a list of performance incentives Bonamego could earn during a successful season:

  • If CMU wins the Mid-American Conference West Division, Bonamego would earn a $15,000 bonus. 
  • If CMU earns a victory over a Power Five school, he receives a $10,000 bonus. 
  • If CMU wins the MAC Championship, Bonamego would receive $25,000.
  • For being a participant in a bowl game, Bonamego receives $20,000. For winning a bowl game, he receives $25,000. 
  • If Bonamego is named MAC Coach of the Year, he would receive $25,000.
  • If the football team draws a home game average attendance of 20,000, Bonamego would receive $10,000. If the attendance reaches over 25,000, Bonamego gets $15,000. 
  • If the football team records an average cumulative GPA over 3.0, Bonamego gets $15,000. The Fall 2017 semester was the 38th straight semester CMU athletes have averaged over a 3.0 GPA. 

There are added incentives for winning a College Playoff game and finishing in the College Playoff Top 25. 

Bonamego would also receive $75,000 if the team participated in the Fiesta, Peach, Cotton, Orange, Rose or Sugar Bowls.