14 Contract Surprises That Keep Idaho Vandals Coach Eck Motivated
While the Boise State Broncos football team continues to struggle, the University of Idaho is playing better football than they have in decades. The Vandals are off to their first 2-0 start since 1998, and the bonus checks are starting to pile up for head coach Jason Eck.
Coach Eck was hired just before Christmas 2021. There wasn't much fanfare upon his arrival. After all, the University of Idaho has had a long history of hiring big-name coaches, starting with San Diego State Offensive Coordinator Dennis Erickson before the 1982 season. He took over a terrible team and was able to turn things around fairly quickly. From 3-8 in the previous season, the Vandals went 9-4 in his first season. At the end of his run with the school, Erickson went 32-15 and undefeated to Boise State in four tries. He also recruited big names like Scott Linehan, Tom Cable, John Friesz, and Mark Schlereth. Erickson would go on to a successful career with the University of Wyoming and Washington State before taking the job at Miami, which he would become most known for. He also spent time in the NFL running the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers before returning to college football with Oregon State and Arizona State before finding his way back to Idaho in 2006.
Years later, The Vandals would turn to former player Tom Cable. Cable went 11-35 in four seasons and was fired. In 2012, they decided to hire someone with a name and pedigree of a champion, Paul Petrino. Petrino coached 60 games and went 19-41. Then, the Vandals decided to go with an unknown candidate, Jason Eck. Eck spent years as an offensive line coach before becoming the Offensive Coordinator at South Dakota State in 2019.
Jason Eck represents a substantial financial savings over Paul Petrino, the highest-paid coach in the Big Sky Conference, at over $446,000 annually. Eck's base salary is nearly $300,000 less at $175,000. However, plenty of incentives can help him earn up to $203,500 on top of his base salary. Last year, he made over $32,000 in additional pay. Here's how his contract breaks down.