Bennett's new deal with CCU official

CONWAY | David Bennett has the groundwork to remain the football coach at Coastal Carolina for a long time.

On Friday, Bennett signed a 10-year contract that will pay him a base salary of $160,000 annually beginning May 16. That figure does not include bonuses that could reach $54,000 each year, television and radio deals worth $21,000 annually and the profits from his summer football camp.

Additionally, on Jan. 1 of each year beginning in 2008, Bennett will receive an 8 percent raise.

Next year, he could receive a total compensation of at least $247,000 (the figure for the football camps was not immediately available).

The contract also includes what is a first in recent history regarding CCU athletics: a set of buyout parameters. If Bennett leaves Coastal for another Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) school, he will owe the school 100 percent of his remaining base salary.

Should the school fire Bennett, the university will owe him 100 percent of the remaining base salary if he is fired during the first five years of the deal or 50 percent of the remainder if the action takes place after the first five years.

Bennett said repeatedly on Friday that the contract shows a level of trust with the decision-makers of the university, and that he will not leave Coastal unless it is for a Bowl Subdivision (formerly I-A) team.

The new deal replaces Bennett's old terms, one that kept him under contract into the summer of 2010.