Extending his future: North Dakota State’s Bohl agrees to 8-year contract extensionFARGO — A new year, a new contract for Craig Bohl on Tuesday. The eight-year agreement virtually assures that the 10th-year North Dakota State head coach will not leave with the possible exception of a successful major program.
By: Jeff Kolpack, Forum News Service
FARGO — A new year, a new contract for Craig Bohl on Tuesday. The eight-year agreement virtually assures that the 10th-year North Dakota State head coach will not leave with the possible exception of a successful major program.
Bohl doesn’t comment on future employment chances, but he did give some rare insight into his thoughts on coaching at the higher level Football Bowl Subdivision, which has had 25 head coaching changes this year.
“A lot of times, a lot of zeros and commas behind the name do not necessarily translate into real satisfaction in your job,” he said. “This is a great place to coach, so I really appreciate the university’s commitment.”
Bohl said he lived in the FBS coaching world for 18 years as an assistant. Acknowledging there are high expectations at Football Championship Subdivision NDSU, he said some cohorts across the country are in situations that are not as rewarding.
“Unfortunately, there are good people doing a good job coaching, but under some scenarios are not able to continue to do what they love to do,” he said.
Athletic director Gene Taylor believes it would take something extraordinary to get the 54-year-old Bohl to leave Fargo. Financially, he appears to be close to par with lower-level FBS coaches.
“I think at this point, it would be very limited BCS jobs” that would appeal to Bohl, Taylor said, referring to Bowl Championship Series schools. “Based on this commitment, this says, ‘Hey, we want you here for the long haul.’”
Terms and bonuses from his previous contract, which had three years remaining, did not change much, with the exception of annual raises going from 4 percent to 5 percent.
His base salary this year will be $206,503. Bonuses include 3 percent of home regular-season ticket sales, $15,000 for an FCS title, $10,000 for an FCS runner-up finish, $10,000 for a Missouri Valley Football Conference title, $5,000 for each FCS home playoff game and $2,500 for each road playoff game.
The contract includes provisions for the assistant coaches to receive bonuses for playoff games and national and league titles. It also states the yearly budget for assistant coach salaries shall be in the top 10 percent of FCS programs.
“This vote of commitment goes well beyond a commitment to Craig Bohl,” Bohl said. “It’s a commitment to all of our coaches. There’s a lot of instability in college football and these coaches recognize it. It certainly sends a message to them that we’re on solid ground and will continue to have success.”
Bohl’s total package this year could approach $340,000 based on attendance estimates. An interesting perk is academic benefits for Bohl’s children to attend either NDSU or Minnesota State Moorhead. His son, Aaron Bohl, was a redshirt freshman linebacker at MSUM this fall, meaning NDSU could financially be helping the Dragons football program.
Also, if Bohl stays at NDSU all eight years, a provision could keep him at the school in another capacity. It says the athletic department would negotiate in good faith and administrative-type position that would pay him 50 percent of his base salary at the end of the contract.
The head coach cited a good working relationship with Taylor and President Dean Bresciani as two important reasons for signing the extension. Taylor said the parties first starting talking of an extension before the FCS playoffs began and came to a final agreement on Monday night.
“Many times people have one year of success and the next thing know they’re getting a 10-year contract,” Taylor said. “Craig’s history here is phenomenal, 10 years of tremendous success and I think that deserves a strong commitment from North Dakota State.”
Taylor said he didn’t believe an eight-year contract is unprecedented in FCS football.