MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- If at first you don't succeed, well, spend a little more money and try, try again.
That seems to be the philosophy of West Virginia's athletic department where the school's football coaching staff is concerned.
In the aftermath of a disappointing 7-6 first season in the Big 12, West Virginia will pay its coaching staff $475,000 more in 2013 than it did in 2012.
More than half of that, $250,000, is automatic raises built into the contract head coach Dana Holgorsen signed in August. The other $225,000 is a combination of raises given to two current assistants and an increase in the salaries paid to three new assistant coaches over their predecessors.
Even with the raises, however, West Virginia's coaching salaries are not out of line with the norm at Bowl Championship Series-level programs. In fact, the school might be paying a bit below average.
According to documents obtained by The Charleston Gazette through Freedom of Information Act requests, the salaries of offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh will go from $250,000 last year to $300,000 in 2013. Both were given $50,000 raises that were approved on Jan. 10 and will go into effect today.
The other $125,000 in extra money going to assistants comes in the contracts of new coaches Lonnie Galloway, Tony Gibson and Brian Mitchell. Galloway will make $300,000 as the receivers coach, Gibson $250,000 to coach safeties and Mitchell $225,000 to coach cornerbacks. That's a total of $775,000.
Those three replaced - although not in the same positions - Daron Roberts, Steve Dunlap and Jake Spavital. Roberts and Dunlap were fired and Spavital took a job as the quarterbacks coach at Texas A&M. Dunlap was making $250,000 and Roberts and Spavital $200,000 each. That's a total of $650,000.
All of those figures are base pay and do not include standard incentives included in each of the coaches' contracts. Each of the assistant coaches last season made an extra $10,000 when the team qualified for a non-BCS bowl. None of their other incentives (for wins or BCS appearances/wins) were met.
The school is also on the hook for $200,000 owed to Roberts after he was fired following the regular season. His contract ran through the 2013 season, so he is owed that year's pay. The school is also paying Dunlap through June 30, when his contract was set to expire, but apparently he is still working in a non-coaching capacity and could be re-hired within the athletic department.
As for Holgorsen's $250,000 raise, that is written into his contract. He made $2.3 million in salary and supplemental income last season and also earned a retention bonus of $75,000 just by being employed on Dec. 8, 2012. That's a total of $2.375 million, not including his incentives.
In 2013, Holgorsen's base pay and supplemental income increases to $2.5 million. He will again receive a $75,000 retention bonus if he is still on the job on Dec. 8, 2013 - that's after a $50,000 retention bonus owed him a month from now. All told, that's $2.625 million.
None of West Virginia's other assistant coaches are currently receiving raises this year, but five - Dawson, Bedenbaugh, running backs coach Robert Gillespie, defensive line coach Erik Slaughter and defensive coordinator Keith Patterson - signed new contracts on Dec. 7 - just after the end of the regular season - and retroactive to various prior dates. Some included raises.