Bruce Pearl’s Contract: Auburn Coach Can Earn $1.1 Million in Bonuses

bruce pearl contract auburn

Getty Bruce Pearl pictured cutting down the nets after Auburn advanced to the 2019 Final Four.

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl signed a $14 million contract extension last off-season through 2022-23, per AL.com. Pearl’s salary for the 2018-19 season is $2.6 million, per USA Today. This makes Pearl the 38th highest-paid coach in the country.

Pearl’s salary is set to increase in increments of $100,000 each season. The Auburn coach released a statement after signing the extension in 2018, per AL.com.

Our coaches and student-athletes believe in Auburn and we love it. We came here to work hard, make a positive difference on the campus and in the community and bring credibility and championships back to Auburn basketball. I’m grateful to president Dr. Steven Leath and director of athletics Allen Greene for their commitment and support. My family is blessed to be a part of the Auburn Family.

According to USA Today, Pearl has earned a total of $400,000 in bonuses so far this season and has the potential to earn at least an additional $300,000 by winning a national championship.

Pearl gained $100,000 for each of Auburn’s regional victories, meaning that in a span of roughly a week, he’s gotten a total of $250,000 from his team beating Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky. His $400,000 bonus total so far includes $25,000 for his team reaching 22 wins for the season and $25,000 more for reaching 25 wins.

Now with a 30-9 record, Pearl would get $100,000 for win No. 31 and $200,000 more for win No. 32.

Pearl’s potential bonuses max out at $1.1 million, and the Auburn coach earned $400,000 in bonuses last season. Pearl’s buyout amount is just over $6 million, per USA Today.


Pearl’s Tennessee Contract Was Voided in 2011 After Being Cited for an NCAA Rules Violation

Pearl was cited in 2011 for hosting recruits at his house outside of the recruiting calendar and misleading the NCAA during the investigation. According to SB Nation, Pearl’s Tennessee contract was worth $12.5 million over four seasons before being reduced by $1.5 million for NCAA violations.

According to ESPN, this contract would later be voided in February 2011 after a 22-month long NCAA investigation.

Pearl’s contract was voided and he is now working under a letter of appointment because of the admitted violations. But a source close to Pearl said the two sides are working on a new deal that might be done soon, although there is no indication it would be finished before the June hearing.

A little more than a month later, Pearl would be fired and the coach received $948,728 in salary/benefits as part of the agreement. Former Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton released a statement to ESPN after the firing.

“Upon receipt of our NCAA Letter of Inquiry in September, we made the difficult decision to forgo common national opinion and forge ahead with Bruce and his staff pending any further major infractions or issues that would preclude our basketball program from representing the University of Tennessee in the right manner,” Hamilton said. “The cumulative effect of the evolution of the investigation combined with a number of more recent non-NCAA-related incidents have led to a belief that this staff cannot be viable at Tennessee in the future.”

After a brief foray into broadcasting, Pearl resumed coaching once again in 2014 with Auburn. The Tigers made the Final Four in Pearl’s fifth season at Auburn.