WCIA — New Illinois football coach Bret Bielema’s contract was formally approved by the school’s Board of Trustees at its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday. Eight coaches on Bielema’s staff also had their contracts approved.

Bielema’s six-year deal will pay him a total of $26.7 million, with a starting salary of $4.2 million the first year. Annual increases of $100,000 through January 31, 2027, mean his final year of the contract will pay him $4.7 million. The 51-year old will also receive two $300,000 retention bonuses, one if he’s still the coach through July 1, 2023 and the other on July 1, 2025. That’s in addition to a formulaic “adjustment amount” based on regular season victories during the two-year period immediately preceding each of the retention compensation payment dates.

In addition to his salary and retention bonuses, Bielema is also eligible for annual performance incentives, based on goals set by Illini athletic director Josh Whitman. Those include athletic and academic achievements, conference championships, postseason appearances, Big Ten and national coaching awards, increases in game attendance, all to a maximum of $1.5 million per year.

Read the entire contract released on Thursday here: http://www.trustees.uillinois.edu/trustees/agenda/January-21-2021/007-jan-DIA-football-coach.pdf

Bielema will receive several incentives as well, including moving expenses, use of courtesy vehicles and/or a vehicle stipend, a country club membership, tickets for admission to DIA sporting events and standard benefits with contributions and benefit amount based upon the Base Salary where relevant.

Eight coaches on Bielema’s staff will also got their contracts approved on Thursday. Offensive coordinator Tony Petersen, defensive coordinator Ryan Walters and strength and conditioning coach Tank Wright all received three-year deals, with the other five on-field assistants getting two-year contracts.