The Coastal Carolina football program will be led by head coach Jamey Chadwell for at least the next four years if terms of his new contract are fulfilled.
Chadwell, who was promoted from associate head coach and offensive coordinator in January with the resignation of head coach Joe Moglia, signed a four-year agreement with the university in April.
The first two years are guaranteed “barring a serious cause issue,” according to the contract obtained by The Sun News.
“You’ve got four years and that gives you an opportunity to recruit, lets recruits know you’re here for a while and that you can build a program,” Chadwell said. “The two years fully guaranteed wasn’t something I asked for. It was something they wanted to do and I said, ‘Sure, let’s go.’ ”
Chadwell, 42, a Tennessee native and East Tennessee State graduate who has nine years of collegiate head coaching experience, will make a base salary of $350,000 this year, $375,000 in 2020-21, $400,000 in 2021-22 and $425,000 through the contract’s final year ending June 30, 2023.
Moglia had his salary bumped up to $400,000 per year from $175,000 with a two-year extension in September 2017 through 2020, with incentives for team success on the field and in the classroom that are also included in Chadwell’s contract.
The Chanticleers are a fledgling Football Bowl Subdivision program, having made the transition from the Football Championship Subdivision to FBS and the Sun Belt Conference over the past few years, and Chadwell’s pay is among the lowest for an FBS head coach.
According to a USA Today study, Sun Belt coaches make between $390,000 and $850,000 per year in base salary.
Chadwell was hired at $185,000 annually by CCU in January 2017 and he said that was set to increase this year in the third and final year of his contract as an assistant.
Though it’s a four-year contract, Moglia believes it could be renegotiated after the guaranteed two years. A new president is set to replace retiring David DeCenzo in 2021, and a president-elect is expected to work alongside DeCenzo for a full year beforehand.
“You’ve got a couple years to kind of put the program where you want it . . . then the reality is if all that goes the way you would hopefully go, there would probably be a negotiation then for a new contract,” said Moglia, who said he worked with DeCenzo and Chadwell on the crafting of Chadwell’s contract.
“With a new administration I’m sure they’re going to want to give him a new contract, which gives him an opportunity to make more significant money and all that stuff,” Moglia continued. “Between then and now I think he’s being treated fairly. The real price from a financial perspective is what the contract might be down the road – the next contract, not this contract.”
Moglia retains the CCU positions of chairman of athletics and executive director of football, as well as executive advisor to the president. Chadwell reports directly to Moglia rather than athletic director Matt Hogue, though he meets quarterly, at minimum, with Hogue, per his contract. Chadwell said he’s comfortable with that structure.
“I think it has definitely been a benefit to have Joe here,” Chadwell said. “One, because even though I’ve been here with the transition there’s still a lot of learning. With him being here, the learning curve as far as the administration side and budget side, all the things you have no clue about as an assistant, that has made the transition a lot smoother because you have somebody who has been doing it. And two, just having somebody around with his expertise and knowledge . . . is huge.”
Chadwell has been a head coach at North Greenville (2009-11), Delta State (2012) and Charleston Southern (2013-16), where he went 35-14 in four seasons before joining CCU’s staff. He was 2-9 as CCU’s interim coach in 2017 when Moglia took a medical leave of absense.
There was a seemingly abrupt transition from Moglia to Chadwell, considering he was called in from recruiting on the road for the press conference to announce his promotion, and he agreed to become the head coach without a contract.
“I trust the people who are in charge, obviously coach Moglia and Dr. DeCenzo. I felt they would put a fair contract together,” Chadwell said. “I was more excited about the opportunity. I was willing to go and figure out the details later.”
Chadwell said he was never promised he would be Moglia’s successor when he was hired with the associate head coach tag, but he said Moglia indicated that he hoped to recommend Chadwell when he decided to resign or retire if things went well during his time as an assistant.
Chadwell said he was content with remaining an assistant for the remaining two seasons on Moglia’s contract through 2020. “I wanted to learn from him, first and foremost. That was the main reason I came here,” Chadwell said. “It wasn’t to be a head coach in waiting or anything like that. I wanted to come and learn from him and hopefully do a good enough job . . . to build confidence in him and he would bring about that ‘Hey, this is the guy I want to turn it over to,’ and I’d continue to build on the foundation he laid.”
Chadwell received a $10,000 signing bonus and incentives in his contract include $200,000 for a division title, $300,000 for a conference title, $150,000 for a bowl invitation, $200,000 for a bowl victory, $250,000 for an end-of-season top-50 ranking, $400,000 for an end-of-season top-25 ranking, and $50,000 for a team Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 950-965, $100,000 for an APR of 966-980 and $150,000 for an APR above 980.
Chadwell gets half of each bonus, with the other half to be dispersed to his staff and “program contributors” at the discretion of he and Moglia.
APR measures eligibility, graduation and student retention within the program. The team’s APR reportedly hit an all-time high at 979 in the 2016-17 academic year, and the NCAA’s most recent report for the four-year multi-year score from 2014-17 was 965.
“Coach Moglia has obviously done a great job with that,” Chadwell said. “That’s a great incentive for us, but that’s what we do anyway. We want them to use football to better their lives, so if there’s a bonus in there or not that’s what we’re going to do regardless. That’s why we do what we do.”
If he is terminated without cause after two years, Chadwell will receive 75 percent of what’s left on his contract, plus bonuses. Coastal also has a $150,000 buyout if Chadwell is hired by another FBS school. If another coaching opportunity arises, Chadwell must notify Moglia, but permission to speak to another school won’t be “unreasonably” denied.
Perks in Chadwell’s contract include 28 specified seats and four parking passes to each home game, 12 tickets to each away game, 24 tickets to a postseason game and the ability to make additional money through camps, TV and radio shows, etc., with approval.
Chadwell’s assistants also all have new contracts that were finalized April 18 and retroactively took effect March 1.
Defensive coordinator Marvin Sanders makes $175,000 per year and is signed through February based on his original contract signed in December 2017. He will receive the remainder of his contracted salary if terminated early.
Assistant head coach and offensive line coach Patrick Covington makes $142,500, co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Willy Korn makes $84,360, co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Newland Isaac makes $91,200, defensive ends/outside linebackers coach T.J. Hollowell makes $84,000, linebackers coach Chad Staggs makes $155,000, defensive line coach Skylor Magee makes $150,000, tight ends/offensive tackles coach Bill Durkin makes $123,120, and special teams coach Curt Baldus makes $105,000, according to their signed contracts.
The contract of wide receivers coach Joey King was not available.
Each assistants’ contract goes through Feb. 28 next year, and with the exception of Sanders’ deal, they have termination clauses that offer a salary of the full duration of the contract if notified by Dec. 1, four months’ salary if notified between Dec. 2-20 and six months’ salary if notified after Dec. 20.