UMass officially extends football coach Mark Whipple through 2020

  • UMass quarterback Andrew Ford, left, talks with his head coach, Mark Whipple, during the team’s annual spring scrimmage at McGuirk Stadium, Friday, April, 13, 2018. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • UMass coach Mark Whipple jogs onto the field prior to a game against Hawaii at McGuirk Stadium, Aug. 26, 2017. GAZETTE STAFF/Caroline O’Connor

Published: 4/30/2018 10:07:32 PM

Almost six months after it was first announced, UMass football coach Mark Whipple’s contract extension is finally official.

Whipple, who had one year left on his original deal when he was hired in 2014, is now signed through the 2020 season.

“We’d been running in different directions over the past couple months and we finally got all the parties together to finalize everything,” said Bamford, who announced after the Minutemen’s season-ending loss at Florida International on Dec. 2, that he planned to extend Whipple.

Bamford said the conversation began between UMass’ win over Maine (Nov. 11) at Fenway Park and their its of BYU (Nov. 18).

“Mark and I talked after the Maine game. I said we’re proud of what you’ve done and after the season is over we’re going to talk about extending,” Bamford said. “I think he appreciated that.”

UMass won four of its last six games in 2017. Bamford thought that could be a springboard for future success.

“I think with the schedule and the players we have coming back, I think there’s a chance to make some real progress,” he said.

Whipple is 61-62 in two stints coaching the Minutemen. His victory total is the most ever by a UMass head coach.

“I am excited about the future of this University of Massachusetts football program and especially the young men we have in our program,” Whipple said in a statement that was part of the release announcing the extension.

Whipple’s base compensation goes from about $450,000 to $500,000 per season before incentives.

He has bonuses for:

Wins over Power 5 conference schools (plus Notre Dame, BYU and Army) — $25,000.

Strong classroom performance based on the NCAA’s academic progress rate — ($20,000 or $30,000)

Totals wins per season beginning with the six necessary for bowl eligibility. Six wins — $10,000; 7 — $15,000; 8 — $25,000 ; 9-12 — $35,000.

If Whipple is fired before Nov. 30, he’d get $500,000. That number drops to $300,000 from Dec. 1 to Nov. 30, 2019. After that it’s $100,000.

Those buyout numbers increase $15,000 based on every win the Minutemen earn from the start of the 2018 season and his termination. For example, if UMass won four games each in 2018 and 2019, his buyout would increase by $120,000 (8 wins x $15K per win) if he was fired after the 2019 season.

CASALI GETS TRYOUT — So far, linebacker Steve Casali is the only UMass player with a professional opportunity for 2018.

Casali announced on Twitter that he’s been invited to minicamp for the Detroit Lions.

Matt Vautour can be reached at Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at

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