In big-pay offseason, Oregon State's Mike Riley takes different approach

While Louisville’s Charlie Strong and LSU’s Les Miles recently landed extensions worth a combined $8 million annually, one coach’s contract is playing out a little differently on the West Coast.

Oregon State’s Mike Riley, coming off a nine-win season on a reportedly modest $1.5 million salary, is not pushing for a contract renegotiation, according to the school, but he pushed for increased assistant coaches pay instead.

As a result, Oregon State is rewarding Riley with $300,000 to disperse to assistants as he sees fit.

“That’s his desire, to bump [the assistants],” said OSU spokesman Steve Fenk. “This is totally Mike’s deal.”

Riley’s contract includes incentives, such as a one-year rollover for appearing in a bowl game. His contract now runs until 2020, a fitting length for a coach who has been at OSU for the last 10 years.

Riley also gets a $125,000 bonus for winning nine games and can earn more with team APR ratings and ticket sales.

Riley's salary is believed to be the lowest among Pac-12 head coaches, though the length of the deal is competitive around the country. It's unknown whether the school will bump Riley's base pay.

After garnering interest from Wisconsin about the Badgers’ head coaching job last month, Riley could have leverage. He doesn’t appear to be using it.

Coaches pushing for increased assistant pay is nothing new. Strong and Miles are probably doing the same. Though Riley's dealings are low-key, they are still noteworthy. 

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