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Danny White Gets a 5-Year Contract Extension

The most successful A.D. in UCF history is going to be around a bit longer

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UCF Athletic Director Danny White
Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

UCF Knights Athletic Director Danny White ain’t goin’ nowhere anytime soon.

According to a release from UCF, White has agreed to a five-year contract extension with a one-year rollover clause plus bonuses.

His annual salary comes out to $1.081 million per year, a 5% increase over his reported salary increase from last year, according to WFTV’s Joe Kepner:

You can view the full contract here, as posted by Brandon Helwig of UCFSports.com:

Terms and Details

  • 5-year contract with an annual automatic rollover.
  • $1,081,500 per year, $200,000 of which is paid by the university (hence White’s Vice President title). The rest is paid by the UCF Athletics Association.
  • White’s salary goes up by 5% on May 11th each year.
  • If UCF’s annual conference distributions increase by $20 million or more (by 2017-18 levels) - in other words, if UCF moves up to a power conference - White’s salary goes up by an additional $1 million a year.
  • Ten tickets to every football and basketball game, plus six tickets to postseason games.
  • $900 a month toward a car
  • One skybox at football and basketball for all home games
  • Membership at Interlachen Country Club (or a similar golf club of his choice for wining and dining)

Buyouts

White’s buyout starts at $2.5 million if he leaves UCF on or before May 11, 2021, and decreases by $250,000 each year until 2025, after which it stays at $1.5 million.

Incentives

Football

  • 2% of his salary for a football division championship
  • 3% for a conference championship
  • 2% for a non-CFP bowl game
  • 5% for a CFP bowl game
  • 10% for a national title
  • 2% for averaging paid regular attendance above 18,000, 3% over 23,000, and 5% over 28,000

Basketball

  • 2% for a basketball regular season title
  • 2% for a conference tournament title
  • 2% for an automatic or at-large NCAA Tournament bid
  • 2% for each NCAA Tournament win, men’s or women’s
  • 10% for a national title, men’s or women’s
  • 2% for averaging paid regular attendance above 2,600, 3% over 3,600, and 5% over 5,100

Olympic Sports

  • 1% for every conference title
  • 2% for a national title

Academics

  • 10% if each UCF team’s four-year average APR is higher than the minimum NCAA standards for each sport
  • 5% for each term that UCF’s student athletes get a combined GPA higher than the university’s student body’s average GPA
  • 2% for each year there are no student-athlete violations of the University Code, arrests, or NCAA violations

Fundraising and Budget

  • 2% for each year UCF increases its incoming gifts by 15% over the previous year, plus another 2% for every 10% above that in the same year
  • 2% for each year the UCFAA exceeds its budget goal

Director’s Cup

  • 2% if UCF finishes in the Top 50 of the all-sports rankings
  • 3% if in the Top 25
  • 5% if in the Top 15
  • 10% if in the Top 10

NOTE: Maximum incentives cannot exceed 25% above his annual salary.

Analysis

White’s new salary puts him likely within the Top 20 of athletic directors in the nation, as per what we can infer from this antiquated database from USA Today. White’s new salary would put him about $1,000 above that of Scott Stricklin at Florida as of 2017-18, although we are unsure of what Stricklin made this past year. It would be quite the feather in White’s cap to be the highest-paid athletic director in the state.

While the buyout is steep but not unreasonable, the five-year rolling term is critical for a university in the midst of a presidential search. Whoever takes over the university, it’s clear Danny White has a healthy amount of job security. That’s good news for the athletic department, which has seen remarkable growth in fundraising, not to mention on-field success in White’s tenure.

But more than that, UCF’s commitment to White (and vice versa) is now solidified for at least the medium term. As White said in UCF’s statement, “I couldn’t be more committed to building UCF for the long term.”