New contracts for the majority of the Texas A&M football coaching staff were approved by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Thursday during a teleconference.
The regents gave school president Michael K. Young the authority to negotiate and execute contracts for offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey, wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig, defensive ends coach Terry Price, defensive tackles coach Elijah Robinson, defensive secondary coach TJ Rushing, running backs coach Tommie Robinson, tight ends coach James Coley, linebackers coach Tyler Santucci, strength coach Jerry Schmidt and associate athletic director Mark Robinson.
Coley, Tommie Robinson, Santucci and Rushing were hired during the offseason and will be signing their first contracts with A&M. Those already on staff will be receiving raises and/or extensions, A&M athletic director Ross Bjork said. All contracts were offered earlier this year but occurred too late to be included on the February Regents agenda.
Elijah Robinson’s contract contains a higher raise to counter outside offers, Bjork said.
“Obviously, he was highly sought after, so we had to compete to keep him,” Bjork said.
According to financial documents submitted to the NCAA, A&M paid $20,525,393 to head coach Jimbo Fisher, assistant coaches and football support staff during the 2019 fiscal year. Fisher makes $7.5 million annually. Defensive coordinator Mike Elko signed his initial contract in February 2019, a year after he joined the Aggie staff. Elko makes $2.1 million per year, according to his contract which extends through January 2022. Only Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables makes more among college football assistants, according to USA Today.
A&M is not the only school in the state giving football coaching raises, while many across the country are cutting budgets due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Texas System Board of Regents approved four coaching contracts on May 4. Three were new contracts for returning coaches and one was an initial contract for newly hired associate head coach Mark Hagen.
Bjork said in early April that cost-cutting measures were being analyzed in terms of travel, meals, equipment and delaying building projects among other things.
“We do that anyway as a part of a normal budget procedure,” he said. “Now we have to sharpen our pencil even more.”