Texas A&M's decision to fire coach Jimbo Fisher in his sixth season will come at an unprecedented cost. The Aggies are on the hook for more than $77 million to Fisher alone for the buyout on his contract, a deal that was set to run through Dec. 31, 2031. While it's a daunting price-tag -- $77,562,500 to be exact -- Texas A&M won't have to pay Fisher in full up front, lessening some of the burden on the Aggie power brass. 

Texas A&M will be contractually obligated to pay Fisher 25% of his buyout in a lump sum due within 60 days of his firing, which amounts to Fisher cashing in roughly $19.3 million by mid-January of 2024.

Sixty days after that deadline passes, Texas A&M will be required to start paying Fisher the remaining amount across annual payments through the end of 2031, when his contract was set to expire. That amounts to eight annual payments of approximately $7.2 million to the former Aggies coach. As uncovered by The Athletic:

"[The] university shall pay twenty five percent (25%) of such amount in a lump sum within (60) days of the effective date of termination of the Agreement, and the remaining balance shall be paid to Coach in equal annual payments beginning one hundred twenty (120) days after the effective date of the termination of this agreement and continuing through the original end date of this Agreement, December 31, 2031."

  • By January 11, 2024: $19.3 million
  • By March 11, 2024: $7.2 million
  • 2025-31: $7.2 million per year

In other words, Texas A&M will dish out $26.6 million to Fisher by March 11, 2024. For context, that number still exceeds the previous record-buyout for a college football coach, which was set when Auburn fired coach Gus Malzahn after the 2020 season. The Tigers were on the hook for $21.4 million with Malzahn's buyout.

Fisher was 45-25 at the helm in College Station, Texas, a pedestrian performance compared to the championship expectations that surrounded his arrival from Florida State after the 2017 season. Fisher won a national championship in 2013 while at Florida State but could not replicate the success he enjoyed with the Seminoles upon becoming the Aggies' headman. Fisher did lead Texas A&M to a No. 4 ranking in the AP Top 25 amid the COVID-19 pandemic season of 2020, but the Aggies never played for a championship of any kind during his watch. 

Texas A&M has remaining games against Abilene Christian and at LSU to conclude the 2023 campaign before learning of its bowl destination. Assistant Elijah Robinson will serve as Texas A&M's interim coach as the search gets underway for Fisher's replacement.

Texas A&M coaching candidates: Mike Elko, Dan Lanning, Lane Kiffin among options to replace Jimbo Fisher
Dennis Dodd
Texas A&M coaching candidates: Mike Elko, Dan Lanning, Lane Kiffin among options to replace Jimbo Fisher