On Sunday, it was announced that Texas A&M had fired Jimbo Fisher as head coach of the Aggies' football team. Fisher was hired back in 2017, with hopes that he could replicate what he did at Florida State and bring College Station a national championship. However, despite recruiting at a high level and picking up big wins along the way, the Fisher and the Aggies never developed into a consistently performing team as Fisher ends his tenure with Texas A&M with a 45-25 record, zero SEC title game appearances, and just one major bowl win.
But with Fisher's firing comes a massive buyout for Texas A&M. At a record amount of over $77.5 million, the Aggies will pay a lump sum of 25 percent within the first 60 days (worth over $19.3 million) and then will proceed to pay Fisher the remaining amount of the buyout in eight payments of over $7.2 million each, with the last payment coming in March of 2031.
Now, while that is the highest buyout in the history of college football, and is significantly higher than the person who previously held the record, it still isn't something we haven't seen before. So, let's take a look at 10 other buyouts that took place before Fisher's.
Gus Malzahn - Auburn Tigers ($21.4 Million)
Gus Malzahn saw success about as fast as you could, winning the SEC in his first year and earning a spot in the BCS National Championship Game, a game that they would lose in the final seconds. In the seven years after, Auburn would only eclipse 10 wins once and finish with a 2-5 record in bowl games during Malzahn's tenure as head coach of the Tigers.
Charlie Weis - Notre Dame Fighting Irish ($18.9 Million)
In his first two years as head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Charlie Weis went 19-4 with two major bowl appearances. However, in both of those games Notre Dame was on the losing side, and Weis' early success was followed by lackluster performances where Notre Dame failed to finish above .5oo in two of his final three seasons, including a three-win season in 2007.
Willie Taggart - Florida State Seminoles ($18 Million)
One of the biggest head-scratching hires on this list was when Florida State hired Willie Taggart as their head coach after his first season as Oregon's head coach, where he finished with just a 7-5 record. Taggart had brought some success to his alma mater, Western Kentucky, before building up USF from 2013 and 2016, before taking the Ducks' job. Unfortunately, Taggart did not see any success with the Seminoles, posting a 9-12 record and being fired before his second season was over.
Tom Herman - Texas Longhorns ($15.4 Million)
Tom Herman was hired as the Texas Longhorns' head coach after winning 22 games in two seasons with Houston. In his four years at Texas, Herman would finish with a 32-18 record, finishing with just one 10-win season, one major bowl win, and one conference title appearance. Herman's time in Austin wasn't horrible but it did not meet the expectations of a program that was once among the top programs in the country.
Scott Frost - Nebraska Cornhuskers ($15 Million)
Another program trying to get back to the top of college football is the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the hiring of former Cornhusker quarterback Scott Forst was supposed to do just that. As a player, Frost won two national titles with Nebraska and as a coach, Frost had just led the UCF Golden Knights to a perfect season capped off with a bowl win over Auburn. Sadly, In his first years, Frost never had a winning season with the Cornhuskers and was fired just three games into his fifth season.
Will Muschamp - South Carolina Gamecocks ($12.9 Million)
Will Muschamp is a solid defensive coordinator, but the same cannot be said for him as a head coach. After 11 wins in his second season as head coach for the Florida Gators, his time in The Swamp fizzled out, leading him to the South Carolina Gamecocks head coaching job. And just like his ending with the Gators, Muschamp did not see much success with the Gamecocks finishing with a 28-30 record, posting just two winning seasons over a five-year span.
Todd Graham - Arizona State Sun Devils ($12.8 Million)
Todd Graham spent five years with Tulsa as their head coach and finished three of his four seasons with 10 or more wins. Following Tulsa, Graham spent one year with the Pitt Panthers before being named Arizona State's head coach. Graham got things started quickly there, finishing with two 10-win seasons in his first three years but would only manage to get just one winning season in his next three years, leading to his departure from the Sun Devils.
Jim Mora - UCLA Bruins ($12 Million)
The hiring of Jim Mora had the UCLA Bruins buzzing as they had hired someone who not only had head coaching experience but had earned that experience through coaching in the NFL. Mora would get 29 wins in his first three seasons, accounting for two 10-win seasons, and two bowl game victories. However, after losing three of their last four games in 2015 and then finishing with just nine total wins in the next two seasons, the Bruins fired Mora.
Larry Fedora - North Carolina Tar Heels ($12 Million)
Larry Fedora was another coach who led a smaller school to success before making it to a Power Five School. After a 12-win season in his last season with Southern Mississippi, Fedora took his talents to North Carolina to coach the Tar Heels. Fedora's tenure with North Carolina peaked in year four with an 11-win season, that was followed by an eight-win season, but it would quickly decline from there as Fedora finished his last two seasons with just five total wins.
Chad Morris - Arkansas Razorbacks ($10.1 Million)
Chad Morris was a high school coach for 16 years, compiling 169 wins and grabbing back-to-back Texas state titles before moving into the collegiate level as various coordinator and position coach positions until he was named head coach of SMU. After just 14 wins in three seasons with the Mustangs, the Arkansas Razorbacks hired Morris as their head coach and it was not a good pairing. Morris was let go with two games remaining in year two as head coach after getting just four wins in his first 22 games.
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