Florida’s coaching search is likely drawing somewhat close to an end. With the regular season-ending after Saturday’s game against Florida State, athletic director Scott Stricklin will likely look to have the new hire in place sooner rather than later to help with recruiting ahead of December’s early signing period.
It seems as though Louisiana coach Billy Napier is the top target, and according to some reports, that negotiation process is pretty far along. However, if for whatever reason hiring Napier doesn’t work out, the potential field of candidates could get quite a bit wider.
We’ve written ad nauseam about the potential candidates for this job, but one thing we haven’t discussed is how affordable (or not) each of them is. With that in mind, here are the contract and buyout situations for each possible Florida target.
Louisiana coach Billy Napier
AP Photo/Brian Blanco
Contract: Five years, $2 million/year
Buyout: $3 million
The Skinny: If Napier is the top target, he’s affordable. Florida shouldn’t scoff at his buyout, which would drop to $2 million after Dec. 31.
Oregon coach Mario Cristobal
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Contract: Six years, $4.5 million/year
Buyout: $9 million
The Skinny: Cristobal triggered a $5 million option for 2026 by winning nine games this year, and his buyout is high but not prohibitive. The challenge would be convincing him to leave.
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Contract: Four years, $5.25 million to $5.75 million/year
Buyout: Undisclosed, but presumably around his salary
The Skinny: A Mississippi law prevents employees from signing contracts longer than four years, but Ole Miss gave Kiffin a raise after last season. The specifics of his buyout are unknown.
Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Contract: Six years, $3.4 million/year
Buyout: $3.5 million
The Skinny: Like Napier, Fickell has a manageable buyout as a Group of Five coach. He could be a candidate for another raise this offseason, though.
Iowa State coach Matt Campbell
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Contract: Eight years, $4 million/year
Buyout: $4 million
The Skinny: Campbell could be one of the top candidates outside of Napier, and he’d be very affordable for a Power Five coach.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops
Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
Contract: Five years, $4.75 million to $6 million/year
Buyout: $1.75 million
The Skinny: Stoops’ contract increases in value over time, but his buyout is almost non-existent relative to the budget of a big-time athletic department.
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn
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Contract: Three years, compensation unknown
The Skinny: Quinn coaches in the NFL, which isn’t subject to public record requests, and therefore we don’t know his compensation or buyout. We do know it’s a three-year deal, however, and hiring him likely wouldn’t come cheap.
Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien
Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.
Contract: Two years, $1.1 million annually
Buyout: Unknown, but definitely not more than the value of his contract
The Skinny: It’s unclear exactly what his buyout is, but considering the value of his deal, it would certainly be negligible for Florida.
Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Contract: Three years, $2.1 million/year
Buyout: None if he leaves for a head coaching or NFL job, $1.05 million if he takes an SEC assistant job
The Skinny: Hiring Elko wouldn’t carry a buyout for Florida, though it’s unlikely it goes with a first-time head coach.