UCLA football coaches hit eight figures in total compensation for first time

Bill McGovern watches during a New York Giants game.
UCLA’s new defensive coordinator, Bill McGovern is coach Chip Kelly’s highest-paid assistant, according to records reviewed by the Los Angeles Times
(Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

Inflation is infiltrating more than gas and groceries.

UCLA’s football coaches will make a record $10,172,500 in salary and bonuses this year, according to records reviewed by The Times, a 3.2% increase over the previous year. More than half of the new total is consumed by coach Chip Kelly’s $5.6 million in salary that includes a $1-million retention bonus payable Dec. 15.

New defensive coordinator Bill McGovern is Kelly’s highest-paid assistant, pocketing $900,000 in each of the two years on his contract. Offensive line coach Tim Drevno will make $560,000 this year, followed by assistant head coach, defensive backs coach and defensive passing game coordinator Brian Norwood ($535,000); inside linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. ($437,500); quarterbacks coach Ryan Gunderson ($410,000); outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Ikaika Malloe ($390,000); running backs coach DeShaun Foster ($385,000); defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a ($335,000); and tight ends coach Jeff Faris and wide receivers coach Jerry Neuheisel ($310,000 apiece).

The increase in salaries comes amid massive turnover on Kelly’s staff, including six new coaches this season. Kelly was awarded a new four-year, $22-million contract in January that included only modest raises.


Raises and bonuses will bump the total for the coaching staff to $10,357,500 for the second years of their contracts. Each assistant could make an additional $100,000 in performance bonuses per year.

Contracts of the UCLA football assistant coaches.

Aug. 30, 2022

All the assistants have two-year contracts with clauses calling for them to be paid their base salaries and talent fees in full should UCLA terminate them without cause. The coaches would have to pay the school differing amounts should they depart prior to the end of their contracts.

McGovern would have to pay UCLA half his remaining salary should he leave before Dec. 31, 2023, unless he accepted a job as a college head coach or as an NFL head coach, coordinator or position coach, in which case the balance would be waived. Another option, outlined in McGovern’s contract, would be for any new employer to pay the remaining salary owed to UCLA upon his departure.

The other assistants would have to pay UCLA only $50,000 if they left before the end of their contracts, but the circumstances in which that fee would be waived vary. For example, Norton would not have to pay that amount if he left for a job as a college head coach or as an NFL head coach, coordinator or position coach, but Neuheisel’s waiver is provided only if he left for a job as a college coordinator at the Football Bowl Subdivision level or as a head coach at the college level.

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Kelly’s previously reported buyout calls for him to receive 70% of his remaining salary, talent fee and retention bonuses through Dec. 15, 2023, were UCLA to dismiss him without cause by that date. His buyout drops to zero on Dec. 16, 2023.


The bonus structure for the assistants remains the same as in recent years. An appearance in the Pac-12 championship game is worth $15,000; an appearance in any bowl game is worth $10,000; an appearance in a New Year’s Six bowl game is worth $20,000; an appearance in the College Football Playoff semifinal is worth $10,000; an appearance in the College Football Playoff championship is worth $20,000; and a national championship is worth $25,000.

The assistants also can make up to $10,000 for participation in camps and clinics.