KNOXVILLE — After making roughly $1.1 million total in two years as the University of Tennessee offensive coordinator, Mike DeBord’s move to Indiana University is going to be a costly one.
Per standard terms of UT assistant coaches’ contracts, they are obligated to pay 33-percent of the remaining value of their contracts if they leave before the end of a term.
In the case of DeBord, who signed a two-year pact with the Vols and longtime friend and former understudy Butch Jones in February 2015, he had been renewed and given a modest raise following the ’15 season that extended DeBord’s pact through February 2018.
Per a UT spokesman, DeBord, UT athletics and Indiana University all are working on a negotiated payment of the buyout money.
As of right now, if there are no mitigating circumstances, DeBord would owe the University of Tennessee nearly $200,000 — $189,000 per a spokesman — unless a reduced number is agreed upon in negotiations. It could be reduced to $50,000, which is the cost if a coach leaves with less than one full year on his contract.
The payment, per contract terms, is due within 60 days of the coach’s election to terminate his contract. UT officials, on a case by case basis, may elect not to pursue the payment for a broken contract if agreed upon by the school’s director of athletics and either the chancellor or chief financial officer.
Mike Bajakian also had time left on his contract when Bajakian left the Vols to coach with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Bucs in 2015. He later negotiated a buyout figure with UT officials.
If a Tennessee coach leaves for a promotion of sorts, such as when Mark Elder departed to become the head coach at Eastern Kentucky University, he typically is not required to repay any remaining portion of his contract.