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
- 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.
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.