Dec. 17, 2007
CINCINNATI - Head football coach Brian Kelly and the University of Cincinnati have agreed to terms on a new fi ve-year deal that will keep
Kelly on the sidelines through the 2012 season, Director of Athletics Mike Thomas announced today (Dec. 17), pending the approval of
the contract by the University Board of Trustees.
"What Brian has done for the UC program in such a short time has been tremendous, not only for the University but the entire Cincinnati
community," says Thomas. "In just over a year, he has built the foundation of a championship program and the expectation of a perennial
Top 20 team. Brian's eagerness to remain at UC along with President Zimpher's support and private gifts from the community brought
this agreement to fruition. It will allow us to bring stability to a position that has seen three diff erent coaches in the last five years."
Kelly was recently recognized as the BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Year, while nine of his players claimed all-BIG EAST honors. Kelly
earned the honor after directing Cincinnati to a 9-3 record this season, including a 4-3 league mark, and a No. 20 ranking in the Associated
Press Poll. Cincinnati ended the regular season with nine victories for the fourth time in school history, including three wins over Top
25 teams. UC is set to tangle with the University of Southern Mississippi at the Papajohns.com Bowl on Dec. 22 in Birmingham, Ala. A triumph over the Golden Eagles would complete the second 10-win campaign in school history.
"This agreement represents the furthering of the commitment to build a championship program at the University of Cincinnati, says
Kelly. "This would not have been possible without the leadership and vision of Dr. Nancy Zimpher and the hard work of Mike Thomas and
his ability to bring together private support from people who see the value of taking ownership in the program."
With the signing of the offer, Kelly has already begun re-investing in the program and the Cincinnati community with two $50,000 gifts.
The first is being made to the Department of Athletics as an initial gift to the facilities fund which will build the program's indoor practice
facility and outdoor practice fi elds.
The latter is being made to cancer research at the University of Cincinnati to help the fi ght against breast cancer, a disease which Kelly's wife, Paqui, has been battling.
"Reinvesting in the University and community is very important to me," says Kelly. "I teach my team about developing the complete
player and one aspect of that is being `other-centered'; becoming a part of the community. Believing that each one of us can make a difference
in the lives of others is important. This is one way I can do my part and set an example."
Cincinnati returns 16 starters in 2008, including all-Americans Mike Mickens, Terrill Byrd, and Kevin Huber. The Bearcats established
season records for scoring (441 points), touchdowns (52), and passing touchdowns (32). One of the Big EAST's top defensive units, UC is
ranked second nationally with 38 takeaways and 15th in scoring defense (18.6 ppg).
The new five-year agreement voids the remaining four-years left on Kelly's current contract. Kelly receives a guaranteed salary between
$1.2-$1.35 million over the next fi ve years as well as performance-based incentives. Kelly's assistant coaches will also receive a substantial
increase in pay to keep them in line with their BIG EAST counterparts. The buyout of the new agreement is tied to the University securing
an on-campus indoor facility and practice fi elds in the next two years to by used by all of Cincinnati's athletics teams.