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First-year coach Jim McElwain close to cashing in multiple bonuses

Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain paces the sideline in the first quarter against Buffalo on Oct. 26 at UB Stadium in Buffalo, New York.

Jim McElwain's base salary is $400,000, but he also automatically earns $190,000 in additional compensation and a $50,000 retention bonus regardless of what happens on the field.

McElwain is essentially guaranteed $640,000 for the 2019 season.

But the first-year Central Michigan coach is close to cashing in multiple bonuses.

The Chippewas are 7-4 overall and 5-2 in the Mid-American Conference, along with being one victory away from a spot in the MAC championship game.

Already securing seven wins, McElwain is set to add $7,500 to his check. However, that number increases to $10,000 if he's able to move the team to eight wins.

McElwain will receive $12,500 and $15,000 for nine and 10 wins, respectively. At this point in the season, there's no possible way McElwain could accumulate 11 wins. For what it's worth, that'd be $17,500 in bonus cash.

If McElwain can secure a victory over Toledo on Nov. 29, the Chippewas will win the MAC West Division title. The coach will receive $20,000.

Central Michigan winning the MAC championship game would give McElwain another bonus payment, this time a $25,000 addition to his paycheck.

For participating and winning a bowl game, McElwain would make $20,000 and $25,000, respectively.

If Central Michigan were to win its last three games of the season – against Toledo, against Miami (Ohio) in MAC championship and the bowl game – McElwain would receive $17,500 for 10 wins, $20,000 for MAC West title, $25,000 for MAC championship title, $20,000 for participating in the bowl game and $25,000 for winning the bowl game.

That's a whopping $107,500 in bonus based on game incentives alone. And once he's named MAC Coach of the Year, the total will jump to $132,500.

The $132,500 that McElwain could potentially earn in bonuses does not include attendance or academic incentives.

Here are the bonuses for attendance, academic progress rate and grade-point average: 

Average attendance

Exceeds 20,000 persons: $10,000
Exceeds 25,000 persons: $15,000

NCAA single-year APR

Above 950: $2,500
Above 965: $7,500
Above 985: $10,000


Between 2.7-2.79: $3,000
Between 2.8-2.89: $5,000
Between 2.9-2.99: $7,500
3.0 and above: $15,000