Fresno State and Tim DeRuyter have agreed to terms on a new five-year contract through 2018 that will more than double his base salary and with performance bonuses that make him the highest paid football coach in the Mountain West Conference.
The contract guarantees DeRuyter an average of $1.5 million a year over the length of the deal and the bonuses from his original contract remain intact, according to sources. The contract also includes a substantial buyout.
DeRuyter was paid a base salary of $650,000 in his first two seasons and last year made close to $1.4 million.
"It's very gratifying that Fresno State is pleased with the direction that the football program is headed and wants to show its commitment to our future," DeRuyter said in a statement. "I would like to thank our president Dr. Joseph Castro, director of athletics Thomas Boeh, the Athletic Corporation and the administration for their support as our football staff and I continue to strive for championships and make the Valley proud of its team."
Fresno State was coming off a 4-9 season and struggling with declining football ticket sales and revenues when DeRuyter was hired to replace Pat Hill following the 2011 season, and immediately reversed course on the field.
With DeRuyter and his staff installing an up-tempo spread offense and an aggressive 3-4 scheme on defense, the Bulldogs went 9-4 and won their first conference championship since 1999.
The offense led by quarterback Derek Carr generated significantly more yards and produced more points than it had the previous season, racking up 477.5 total yards and 37.9 points per game, up from 411.8 and 28.5 in the final season under Hill.
Defensively, the coaching change produced even greater results. Fresno State cut its total yards allowed per game to 338.8 from 435.8 and its points allowed to 23.8 from 35.2. The Bulldogs also forced 35 turnovers to rank fifth in the bowl subdivision after ranking tied for 119th and last in turnovers gained in 2011 and 111th or worse over the previous six seasons.
Last season, Fresno State won its second Mountain West title under DeRuyter, beating Utah State in the inaugural conference championship game before losing to USC in the Las Vegas Bowl to finish 11-2, and the program started to regain a national presence that had dissipated under Hill.
Games at San Diego State and at Wyoming were picked up for national television broadcasts, netting the athletic department $1 million in additional revenue. Attendance at Bulldog Stadium also increased significantly. Fresno State had an average of 36,917 at Bulldog Stadium for seven games last season, up from 30,915 in 2012 and 29,298 in 2011.
"The extraordinary success Coach DeRuyter and his staff have achieved over the past two seasons warrants these actions by the University. It is our hope that these mutual commitments foster greater stability as well as the continued progression of Fresno State Football," Boeh said.
Under terms of the contract, DeRuyter earns a bonus of $150,000 for winning a conference title.
The bonuses, divided into eight categories, reward the coach for the Bulldogs' on-field and classroom successes and are worth a maximum of $1,665,000 per year.
However, DeRuyter can only reach that level if Fresno State goes undefeated, wins the national championship and he is selected national coach of the year.
A more-realistic scenario is closer to the $745,000 in bonuses DeRuyter earned for the 2013 season. That includes $225,000 for having a winning percentage above 83%; $150,000 for winning the MW title; $75,000 for the Las Vegas Bowl appearance; $100,000 for the Academic Progress Rate score of 950; $125,000 for a federal graduation rate above 62%; and $70,000 for a team grade-point average of 2.75.
DeRuyter also receives free use of an automobile, a country club membership and complimentary tickets to Fresno State athletic events.
Former Boise State coach Chris Petersen, now at Washington, was the highest paid coach in the Mountain West Conference last season, making $2.15 million.
Colorado State coach Jim McElwain was second on that list at $1.35 million.
Bryan Harsin, who replaced Petersen at Boise State, signed a five-year contract worth $6.5 million. He will be paid $1 million his first two seasons, then $1.3 million, $1.55 million and $1.65 million in the final year of the deal. Harsin also received a salary pool of $2.2 million for assistant coaches.
Fresno State last year bumped its pool for assistant coaches to $1.36 million.
Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter's new five-year, $7.5 million contract makes him the highest-paid coach annually in the Mountain West. Here's a look back at the conference's 2013 salaries, where DeRuyter ranked seventh (maximum bonuses in parenthesis):
*Chris Petersen/ Boise State: $2,148,000 ($290,000)
Jim McElwain/ Colorado State: $1,350,000 ($150,000)
+Dave Christensen/Wyoming: $1,200,000 ($25,000)
Troy Calhoun/Air Force: $882,000 ($247,500)
Rocky Long/San Diego State: $800,000 ($855,000)
Bob Davie/New Mexico: $763,600 ($330,000)
%Tim DeRuyter/ Fresno State: $650,000 ($1,665,000)
Norm Chow/Hawaii: $550,000 ($880,000)
Brian Polian/Nevada: $525,000 ($250,000)
Ron Caragher/ San Jose State: $525,000 ($195,000)
^Bobby Hauck/UNLV: $500,000 ($140,000)
Matt Wells/Utah State: $500,000 ($735,000)
*Bryan Harsin, who replaced Petersen, received a five-year contract worth $6.5 million with a base salary of $1 million in 2014 and '15, $1.3 million in '16, $1.55 million in 2017 and $1.65 million in '18.
+Craig Bohl, who replaced Christensen, received a five-year contract worth $4.25 million with a base salary of $750,000 in 2014, $800,000 in '15, $850,000 in '16, $900,000 in '17 and $950,000 in '18.
%DeRuyter earned an additional $745,000 through performance bonuses in 2013.
^Hauck has received a three-year extension that increased his base salary to $700,000.
Columnist Marek Warszawski contributed to this report. The reporter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @rkuwada on Twitter.