Oct. 8, 1999
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Andy Geiger, Ohio State University Director of Athletics, announced today the university and head football coach John Cooper have agreed to terms of a contract extension that will keep Cooper at Ohio State at least through the 2004 football season.
“I am excited and pleased,” Geiger said in announcing the new agreement. “John Cooper has earned this. He has continued to be an outstanding football coach for Ohio State. We have challenged for the national championship two out of the last three years and I want to keep the coaching team together that has done that. We have a great team and a great organization and I want it to remain so.”
The new agreement, retroactive to March 1, 1999 and effective until Feb. 29, 2004, will elevate Cooper into the ranks of coaches – Florida State’s Bobby Bowden, Texas’ Mack Brown, Tennessee’s Phillip Fulmer, Washington’s Rick Neuheisel, Penn State’s Joe Paterno, Texas A&M’s R.C. Slocum, and Florida’s Steve Spurrier – who reportedly make $1 million per year or more. Cooper will make a base salary of $200,000 annually plus supplemental compensation from money Ohio State receives from radio, television, NIKE and camps, raising the total package to $1.1 million per year.
Additionally, Cooper could make up to $175,000 annually through academic performance bonuses, and up to $172,000 annually through team performance bonuses.
“I want to thank Andy Geiger, Dr. Kirwan and the administration here at Ohio State University for the support they have given me,” Cooper said. “I have had great support from the administration and the fans and I do appreciate that. It is very gratifying to know that I’ll be able to finish my coaching career here at Ohio State.”
Cooper won’t necessarily be through coaching in 2004. After March 1, 2002, three years into the new deal, the parties agree to renegotiate in good faith a renewal of the existing contract, Julie Vannatta, Associate Legal Counsel at Ohio State who negotiated the agreement for the university, said. Neil Cornrich represented Cooper during the negotiating process, which began last December.
Cooper is the second-winningest coach in Ohio State history with a 100-35-4 record. He reached 100 wins sooner than any other coach. He ranks sixth nationally among current coaches with 181 wins and his overall record of 181-76-6 and winning percentage of .700 is 10th among active coaches.
Cooper also is the fifth-winningest coach in Big Ten Conference history with a .719 winning percentage. He trails only the legendary likes of Bo Schembechler, Fielding Yost, Woody Hayes and Fritz Crisler.
Now in his 12th year at Ohio State, Cooper’s list of coaching accomplishments has grown considerably over the years. Some of the highlights:
He has guided Ohio State to a school record seven-consecutivefirst- or second-place finishes in the Big Ten Conference. He hascoached Ohio State into five-consecutive New Year’s Day bowl games,to victories in the 1997 Rose Bowl and the 1999 Sugar Bowl, and tonational runner-up finishes in 1996 and 1998. He has had six of hisstudent-athletes win $18,000 National Football FoundationScholarships, five earn Academic All-America honors and 69 namedAcademic All-Big Ten Conference. His student-athletes have wonvirtually every major athletic award, including the Heisman Trophy,the Vincent dePaul Draddy Award, the Maxwell Award, the LombardiAward, the Outland Trophy, the Butkus Award, the Biletnikoff Award,the Thorpe Award and the Doak Walker Award. He is one of only threecurrent coaches nationally to have guided his team to at least 10wins in each of the last four years and he has coached five of hislast six Ohio State teams to 10-or-more wins. His teams are 22-9-2against Top 25-ranked teams since 1992, including a 3-0 mark in1996 against Top 5 teams. His teams have the best Big TenConference record – 39-9-1 – and the most Big Ten championships -three – since Penn State joined the Conference in 1993. His teamshave finished among the nation’s Top 10 teams in five of the lastsix years. His teams have 88 wins in the 1990s, the eighth-highesttotal in the nation and have a terrific 64-14-1 record since 1993.His teams have been nationally ranked in the Associated Press Top25 for 57-consecutive weeks, dating to the 1994 season. -GO BUCKS!-