Damon Evans recently signed a six-year contract to be Maryland’s athletic director, and he will be paid $720,000 per year before any potential bonuses kick in.
The contract, obtained by The Washington Post through a public records request, runs from July 2 to June 30, 2024. It carries a base annual salary of $600,000. Evans will also be paid $120,000 of supplemental annual income for media appearances, his participation in Maryland’s apparel deals, and for making promotional and fundraising appearances on behalf of the university. Maryland will receive all revenue generated by any of the activities tied to Evans’s supplemental income, according to the contract, the $120,000 will be paid in equal installments on Dec. 1 and June 1 of each contract year.
Evans then has the opportunity to make up to $45,000 in annual bonuses. Fundraising, one of his noted skills as an administrator, can make him $15,000 in bonuses. He will be paid an additional $7,500 at the end of each year in which the “number of Terrapin Club memberships has exceeded the previous year’s total by 5 percent,” according to the contract. The Terrapin Club is made up of athletic department donors. Evans can also be paid an additional $7,500 in fundraising bonuses for each year in which total athletic department donations exceed the previous year’s total by 5 percent or more.
The rest of the potential bonuses are tied to athletic performance. The annual Directors Cup competition ranks colleges based on their aggregate success across athletic programs. The higher Maryland finishes in the final standings, the more money Evans can make as a result: $25,000 if Maryland ranks between first and fifth; $15,000 if it ranks between sixth and 10th; $10,000 if it ranks between 11th and 20th; and $5,000 if it ranks between 21st and 30th. Lastly, Evans will make an additional $5,000 at the end of each year Maryland has 10 or more teams play in NCAA-sanctioned postseason competition.
If Evans were terminated without cause before June 30, 2019 (the end of the first year of his contract), Maryland would face a $5 million buyout. If he were terminated without cause on July 1, 2019, or anytime thereafter, he will continue to collect his base salary for the remainder of his initial contract term. Evans resigned as the athletic director at the University of Georgia in July of 2010 following a DUI arrest.
Maryland is hoping Evans is a stabilizing presence in a trying time for the athletic department. Evans was Maryland’s interim athletic director after Kevin Anderson went on sabbatical last October, and was officially named full-time athletic director eight months later, in part because he is familiar with the challenges that lie ahead.
The university is conducting an external review following the June 13 death of sophomore football player Jordan McNair, who was hospitalized following an organized team workout on May 29. The review started at the end of the third week in June and could take up to 90 days to complete, according to the university. The review includes an independent evaluation, conducted by the athletic training consulting firm Walters Inc., of Maryland’s “planning and conducting team conditioning and practice sessions; and for responding to health emergencies during or after those sessions.”
The university also recently released two subpoenas it received from a federal grand jury in New York in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s probe into college basketball. Then there are the usual athletic director challenges — filling out his staff, fundraising for the school’s new indoor football facility, athletic performance — that Evans will have to juggle as he moves closer to his first academic year in charge.
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