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Jim Knowles to Make Nearly $2 Million Per Season at Ohio State

NCAA Football: Cheez-It Bowl-Oklahoma State vs Miami

Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles will make his way to Columbus after the Cowboys play Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl and it sounds like he will be making a pretty penny when he arrives.

Knowles will be one of the five highest-paid assistant coaches in the country as the Buckeyes defensive coordinator, raking in $1.9 million a year over a three-year contract. He is also receiving a one-time bonus of $138,850 and $66,000 to help with any buyout issues on Oklahoma State’s side.


Knowles is also elibigle for several other bonuses, based on his team’s performance. Details on that are as listed below, courtesy of Ohio State:

  • Big Ten East division champions or co-champions – 8.5% of base salary
  • Winner of Big Ten championship game – 4.25% of base salary
  • College Football Playoff bowl game appearance – 17% of base salary
  • Non-College Football Playoff bowl appearance and at least nine wins – 4.25% of base salary
  • College Football Playoff semi-final appearance – 21.25% of base salary (if Ohio State wins semifinal game, he is not eligible for this bonus)
  • College Football Playoff final appearance – 25.5% of base salary

That’s $484,500 for making the national championship game, or $403,750 for making the playoff field. I would say that is a hell of a deal, considering that the Buckeyes have made the playoff six times and the title game in three of those years.

Ohio State will have one of the best defensive coordinators in all of football next season, and it looks like they are paying him as such. What he did at Oklahoma State was impressive, and he will need to be on his best game to replicate those results in Columbus. However, this is an amazing opportunity for Knowles and if there is anyone that can turn around Ohio State’s defensive struggles, it’s him.


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