Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has decided to give his bonus money this season back to staff members of the Michigan athletic department who suffered pay cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Michigan announced 5 to 10 percent pay cuts for most of its athletic department staffers. During an appearance on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show this week, Harbaugh made the announcement that he and his wife, Sarah, would be dispersing his bonus money to the Michigan staffers no matter the amount. With Harbaugh’s announcement, any staff member who took either a voluntary or mandatory pay cut in the past 18 months who still works for Michigan has the chance to receive some of Harbaugh’s bonus money.
“Sarah and I were talking about it last night, and we decided any bonus money that I am to receive through this season will be redirected to reimburse U of M athletic department employees who have stayed while taking a voluntary or mandatory pay reduction during the last 18 months during the pandemic,” Harbaugh said on the show.
Currently, Harbaugh earns about $4 million in salary each season. On top of that, he has the opportunity to earn $3,475,000 in additional bonuses depending on how the team does each season. Here’s a breakdown of the potential bonus money Harbaugh will earn this season.
Harbaugh and the Wolverines won the Big Ten East on Saturday after they beat Ohio State 42-27. With that win, Harbaugh earned $500,000 in bonus money. Michigan will compete in the Big Ten Championship on Dec. 4 against the Iowa Hawkeyes. If they win this game, Harbaugh will earn an additional $1 million in bonus money.
As of now, the amount of bonus money Harbaugh will distribute to Michigan staffers is still to be determined. It depends how Michigan fares the rest of the season. But, as Harbaugh said, he will give out the money no matter what the amount. He also plans to disperse the money throughout different departments within the athletic department. So, not all the money will go to football employees, for example.
“Whether it’s folks that work here in football or at the ticket department or baseball coaches, (swimming and diving coach) Mike Bottom, there’s so many people that my wife has gotten very close to, the kids have,” Harbaugh said. “Really just our family way, our family contribution to those that have had some financial strain through the last 18 months.”
Harbaugh was one of three top employees at Michigan to take a 10 percent pay cut for the 2021 fiscal year as well. Athletic director Warde Manuel and head men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard also took pay cuts.
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