New UB football coach Mo Linguist to earn more than Lance Leipold

UB Bulls & College Sports

New University at Buffalo football coach Maurice “Mo” Linguist will earn a higher base compensation than his predecessor, Lance Leipold, who left as the program’s winningest coach in the modern era.

UB will pay Linguist $675,000 a year, according to documents obtained by News 4 through an open records request. That’s a breakdown of $475,000 in base salary and $200,000 in additional compensation, plus incentives. His contract runs through the 2025 season.

Leipold, who led UB to its first two bowl victories in program history, earned $624,300 in base pay last season ($474,300 base salary, $150,000 additional), though the Bulls’ success under his watch led to several bonuses.

Leipold left UB for Kansas in late April, leaving UB with a coaching vacancy at an inopportune time in the college football calendar. Kansas is paying Leipold $2.2 million, more than 3.5 times what he made at UB.

Linguist had signed a two-year contract with Michigan in February to be its co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach. According to the Detroit News, he was set to be paid $680,000 in 2021 and $690,000 in 2022.

UB essentially matched Linguist’s salary to leave the Big Ten powerhouse for his first head-coaching position.

According to USA Today’s database of football coaching salaries, Linguist’s $675,000 would have ranked fourth in the Mid-American Conference last season.

Linguist has several bonuses available, including:

Annual Academic Progress Rate (non-cumulative)

  • 960+: $5,000
  • 970+: $10,000
  • 980+: $15,000
  • 990+: $20,000

Wins (non-cumulative)

  • 8 wins: $15,000
  • 9 wins: $20,000
  • 10 wins: $25,000
  • 11 wins: $30,000
  • 12 wins: $35,000

Titles and bowls (non-cumulative)

  • MAC Championship: $35,000 (and 1 month’s salary pool for assistant coaches)
  • MAC Championship appearance: $15,000 (1/2 month assistant pool)
  • MAC East champion (if not MAC champ): $7,500 ($18,000 assistant coach pool)
  • Bowl game appearance/victory: $25,000/$50,000 if not among New Year’s bowls, $50,000/$100,000 if New Year’s
  • College Football Playoff: $100,000 for playing, $150,000 for winning


  • MAC Coach of the Year: $15,000
  • National Coach of the Year: $30,000

Linguist will also receive a monthly car stipend of $400, up to $25,000 in moving expenses, and four tickets to men’s basketball games, all of which are standard coaching perks.

If Linguist leaves for another job, his buyout is as follows:

  • $1.5 million if on or before Dec. 15, 2021
  • $1 million if between Dec. 16, 2021 and Dec. 15, 2022
  • $750,000 if between Dec. 16, 2022 and Dec. 15, 2023
  • $600,000 if between Dec. 16, 2023 and Dec. 15, 2024
  • $500,000 if between Dec. 16, 2024 and Dec. 31, 2025

The memorandum of understanding between Linguist and UB is below (the full contract is not yet signed); app users, click here.

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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.

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