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UPDATES: Rumors Flying Around About Johnny Dawkins and Vanderbilt

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Dawkins’ contract with UCF runs through 2023-24

UCF v Virginia Commonwealth
Johnny Dawkins
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Don’t panic yet, but there are rumors flying around the internets about Johnny Dawkins leaving the UCF Knights for Vanderbilt. They started to boil on Tuesday afternoon, but nothing has actually been reported out yet.

Here’s the latest:

Monday Update

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports and “UCF: More than a football school” fame reports that Vanderbilt is now in negotiations with long-time NBA veteran and Memphis Grizzlies assistant coach Jerry Stackhouse to be their head coach:

While this is good news for UCF, let’s be clear: the Knights are not out of the woods yet, with this being full-on coach job opening season.

No one should feel safe until definitive word comes down from UCF or Dawkins himself.

Weekend Update

Evan Daniels, the Director of Basketball Recruiting for 247 College Basketball Insider for FS1 tweets:

That’s now three names in addition to Dawkins floated this week.

Regarding dollar figures, Tilman Fertitta, the primary booster for Houston Basketball (whose name is on the arena), spoke to Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston after the Cougars’ Sweet 16 loss and dropped quite the dollar figure regarding Houston’s efforts to keep Kelvin Sampson from going to Arkansas:

That’s $3 million per year over six years.


Friday Update

On Friday, Dawkins was a guest analyst on CBS Sports Network, and discussed the Duke game and related topics:


Thursday Update

Gary Parrish of CBS reports Vandy might be considering some other options:

Also, we’re tracking planes now:

Late Wednesday, we had Ken Jackson of Community Sports Report Orlando - the guys who initially broke the story - on our podcast. Listen here or at the bottom of this page:


Wednesday Update

On Wednesday morning, Jeff Goodman of Stadium said Dawkins is a front-runner and UCF is trying hard to keep him, while also expressing doubt about why Vady would be a fit for Dawkins:

Here’s what has happened

On Monday, John Alba of Spectrum Sports asked Dawkins about the possibility of him leaving UCF for another head coaching position. Dawkins said no one had contacted him about anything”

Tuesday morning on ESPN’s Get Up!, Mike Greenberg asked Dawkins about about following in the footsteps of his mentor, Mike Krzyzewski, as head coach at Duke:

Tuesday afternoon, while UCF Football was hosting its Pro Day, came this:

Alba was less forceful minutes later:

Right now, that’s where we’re at.

Here’s what we know for sure

Dawkins’ contract with UCF goes through the 2023-24 season. His initial six-year contract paid him $1.1 million per year ($500,000 guaranteed base and $600,000 guaranteed incentives) plus performance incentives.

Dawkins signed a one-year extension this year that would pay him $1.5 million in the 2023-2024 season.

The buyout for Dawkins’ contract at UCF is equal to 50% of the remaining years’ salary for the term of the contract from whenever he would leave. That means that if he left now with five years left, Dawkins’ buyout would be likely in the neighborhood of $3 million.

To put that into perspective, Bryce Drew (Yes, THAT Bryce Drew), who Vanderbilt just fired after three seasons, paid him a reported annual average of $2.7 million over six years.

Here’s what might happen

  • He might leave. In which case, we will all be sad.
  • He might stay. But UCF may have to extend him and give him quite a raise.

If it’s the latter, Dawkins’ agent may be asking for a salary in the neighborhood of what Gregg Marshall - the highest-paid coach in The American - makes at Wichita State, which is reportedly $3 million per year.

Whatever happens, we might know in short order.

Stay tuned.