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Texas A&M Will Pay Jimbo Fisher An Outrageous Sum Not To Coach There Anymore

Jimbo Fisher.
Photo by John Bunch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jimbo Fisher was fired by Texas A&M Sunday, a day after Fisher's Aggies became bowl eligible with a 51–10 flattening of Mississippi State. Pete Thamel of ESPN says Fisher's shit-canning was in the works for at least a few days: The A&M board of regents reportedly had a long meeting Thursday and spent most of the time discussing Fisher's future, but decided to hold off on firing him until Sunday, preferring to push the upheaval until after game day. A&M athletic director Ross Bjork announced the firing, saying that he recommended the move so that the Aggies could "reach our full potential."

The feeling among A&M's administration is that the Aggies have underperformed their talent, that this is a problem that must be solved immediately, and that it must be solved by replacing the head coach. The cost of this course of action to the public university these people are charged with stewarding will be astronomical: To buy Fisher out of the remaining seven-plus years of his contract, Texas A&M will pay him more than $75 million, according to reporting by the Athletic, ESPN, and others. Fisher's staggering buyout haul will more than triple the next most expensive buyout of a college football coach in history, the $21.45 million paid by Auburn in 2020 for the four years left on the contract of Gus Malzahn. A&M paid Fisher around $50 million to coach the Aggies unsatisfactorily for most of six seasons; now, to go away, Fisher will get a huge pay raise.

Fisher will be collecting hellacious paychecks from A&M through 2031, whether or not he finds another head coaching job:

According to the terms of the contract, Texas A&M will owe Fisher $19.2 million within 60 days and then pay him $7.2 annually through 2031. There is no offset or mitigation on those payments, and the annual payments start 120 days after termination.


Apart from the obvious financial fucked-upedness of this situation, this is a pretty remarkable reversal by A&M. Fisher came over to A&M from Florida State in 2017, on a 10-year contract worth $75 million. Rather than let Fisher work his way anywhere close to the end of that contract, in 2021 the university extended his deal to 2031 and bumped his salary to over $9 million, making him one of the highest paid coaches in college football. The Aggies had had one (1) particularly good campaign under Fisher, playing to a 9–1 record in the pandemic-fucked 2020 season and finishing that year ranked fourth in the nation. This evidently was enough to convince A&M's leadership that they needed to secure Fisher's services through 2031; the fear at the time, says Thamel, is that Fisher would jump ship for LSU.

The sweetest gig in the entire world of sports is to sign a huge long-term extension as head coach at a football powerhouse, and then relax, put your feet up on your desk, and wait for your university's administration to get tired of falling short of world dominion. Think how much worse it would be for Fisher right now if he'd taken the LSU job, or (God forbid) if he'd actually delivered on A&M's expectations. He'd still be a working man today! This is way better.

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