Saturday, October 09, 1999

Cooper's contract extended

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Ohio State football coach John Cooper has plenty of critics in Columbus, but he gets only support from his athletic department bosses. The school Friday announced a contract extension that will pay Cooper more than $1 million annually to stay at Ohio State through 2004. After March 1, 2002, the parties can renegotiate.

        “It's very gratifying to know I'll be able to finish my coaching career here at Ohio State,” Cooper said.

        Cooper, who won his 100th career game at Ohio State two weeks ago, will move into the elite rank of college coaches making more than $1 million a year, a group that includes Florida State's Bobby Bowden, Tennessee's Phil Fulmer, Florida's Steve Spurrier, Texas' Mack Brown, Washington's Rick Neuheisel, Penn State's Joe Paterno and Texas A&M's R.C. Slocumb.

        Cooper will make a base salary of $200,000, with compensation from radio, television, shoe and camp deals pushing him to $1.1 million. He can make another $350,000 through academic and team performance bonuses.

        In his 12th year at Ohio State, Cooper is the second-winningest coach in OSU history with a 100-35-4 record, and he reached the 100-win mark sooner than any other Buckeyes coach.

        “John Cooper has earned this,” Athletic Director Andy Geiger said.


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