U Board of Regents approves contract for Gophers coach Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson was introduced Tuesday as the newest coach for the University of Minnesota men's basketball program.

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents voted on Wednesday to approve the contract for new Gophers men’s basketball coach Ben Johnson.

Johnson takes over the program, coming off a 14-15 season, on a five-year deal worth $1.95 million per season. That figure ranks 13th of 14 Big Ten coaches, as Johnson embarks on his first head coaching job and doing so in a Power 5 conference. Mark Coyle tabbed Johnson after Minnesota made the NCAA Tournament twice in eight seasons under Richard Pitino.

Johnson spent five seasons as an assistant for Pitino, and played three seasons for the Gophers before graduating from Minnesota in 2005.

"We are very excited to welcome Ben Johnson back to Minnesota. He has hit the ground running and there is no doubt he is going to do wonderful things here," Minnesota Athletic Director Mark Coyle told the Board of Regents Wednesday morning.

Per the terms of the contract, Johnson will have access to $450 per month for the use of a car while traveling, and will have access to a private jet for recruiting and other necessary purposes. Johnson’s contract includes bonuses for winning the Big Ten regular season, winning the Big Ten Tournament, finishing above .500 in conference play, making the NCAA Tournament, Sweet 16, Final 4 and winning a national championship.

Here’s what those bonuses look like:

  • $50,000 if the Gophers win the Big Ten regular season
  • $25,000 if the Gophers win the Big Ten Tournament
  • $50,000 if the Gophers finish above .500 in Big Ten play
  • $50,000 for the Gophers making the NCAA Tournament
  • $50,000 for the Gophers making the Sweet 16
  • $50,000 for the Gophers making the Final 4
  • $100,000 for the Gophers winning the NCAA Tournament
  • $50,000 for winning National Coach of the Year
  • $25,000 for winning Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Johnson will also get bonuses if the Gophers perform in the classroom, depending on their APR scores.

We also know the buyout terms of Johnson’s contract. If he’s fired within two years, he gets 100 percent of his base salary. That number drops to 75 percent ($1.46 million) after his third season, 50 percent ($975,000) after his fourth season and 25 percent ($487,500) after his fifth season.