Former ASU football head coach Herm Edwards has come to an agreement with the University to take a 50% buyout of his remaining salary, according to separation agreement documents. The buyout amounts to approximately $4.4 million paid through 2024, according to an ASU spokesperson.
The news comes after Edwards spent four full seasons and three games with the program and came to a mutual agreement with ASU to relinquish his coaching duties last month.
According to The State Press salary database, Edwards was making $3.7 million in 2021. He signed a two-year contract extension in January 2020, extending his deal into December 2024. The original contract, which took effect Jan. 1, 2018, was set to end in 2022.
His base salary in the contract extension was $700,000 with an additional salary of $2.8 million and an increase by $200,000 annually. There are several supplemental compensations based on conference performance, regular season wins and rankings in final polls.
According to the separation agreement between the University and Edwards, Edwards will keep his $590,000 academic performance bonus, benefits until April 2024 or the date on which he begins another benefits-eligible job, and about half of the money from the remaining years on his contract.
"That then makes it an easier item from a budget perspective and it's still a lot of money, but it's less money than it would have been, and that's because we reached a mutual agreement," said ASU President Michael Crow in an interview with The State Press Thursday.
Despite termination of employment at the University and with the football program, Edwards will still be expected to cooperate with the pending NCAA investigation into possible recruiting violations committed during the COVID-19 recruiting dead period from March 2020 to June 2021 when Edwards was still coach.
According to the separation agreement dated Sept. 28, Edwards' last day of employment as head coach and as a professor of practice at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication was Oct. 1.
The decision to part ways with Edwards came after the 30-21 loss to Eastern Michigan on Sept. 17 in Tempe.
"By mutual agreement, Coach Edwards and I have determined that he will relinquish duties as our head coach," said Ray Anderson, vice president of University Athletics, in a statement posted to social media on Sept. 18.
READ MORE: Herm Edwards out as football head coach
Edwards' buyout is relatively low compared with other Pac-12 coaches who were asked to leave their programs this season and the ASU football coach before Edwards.
The University of Colorado fired its head football coach after a 0-5 start to the 2022 season. Karl Dorrell finished his time with the Buffaloes 8-15 and will receive approximately $8.7 million in a full buyout, the school said. Edwards' record was 26-20 with three bowl appearances and just one bowl win.
After being fired in 2017 after coaching for six seasons, former ASU football head coach Todd Graham was offered a $12 million full buyout for the remainder of his contract.
Crow said the University is following the regular coach-hiring timeline and will wait until the season is over to look for someone permanent for the program. After Edwards left the team, assistant and running backs coach Shaun Aguano, who joined the program in January 2019, was named interim head coach.
"So right now, Shaun Aguano is the coach, so we're focused on Shaun," Crow said. "So how can we be helpful to Shaun? We want Shaun to be successful. If Shaun wants to take a crack at the job, then you don't start hunting for the new coach now, you hunt for the new coach kind of at the end of the season."
Over fall break, when the Sun Devils took on the Washington Huskies, No. 21 at the time, Aguano led the team to its first win after four straight losses at Sun Devil Stadium, 45-38.
ASU redshirt junior quarterback Emory Jones was injured during the second quarter of the game. He was 7-9 passing for 59 yards, rushing just three times for 7 yards. Backup redshirt junior quarterback Trenton Bourguet stepped in to score three touchdowns and completed 15 of 21 passes for 182 yards.
Bourguet sent a 14-yard touchdown pass to graduate student running back Xazavian Valladay in the second quarter, a 10-yard touchdown pass to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Elijah Badger in the third and a 2-yard touchdown pass to Badger in the fourth.
While the team outgained ASU 458-397, Washington fell short against the Sun Devil defense going just one for four on fourth downs and seven for 14 on third downs.
The Sun Devils are on a bye week and will travel to Stanford on Oct. 22 for their next game.
Edited by David Rodish and Greta Forslund.
Piper Hansen is the digital editor-in-chief at The State Press, overseeing all digital content. Joining SP in Spring 2020, she has covered student government, housing and COVID-19. She has previously written about state politics for The Arizona Republic and the Arizona Capitol Times and covers social justice for Cronkite News.