Coach Mike Bobo declines automatic $100,000 pay raise

a man wearing a baseball hat

Mike Bobo’s Colorado State Rams stumbled to their worst record of his four-year tenure in 2018, finishing 3-9.

In the aftermath of the rough season that saw the coach hospitalized in August because of peripheral neuropathy and ended with the Rams’ worst record since 2011, Bobo did an almost unthinkable thing for a college head coach: He declined an automatic $100,000 pay raise for 2019.  

“I’m the head football coach, and I believe accountability is a two-way street,” Bobo said in a video released by the school on Tuesday morning. “A lot of times you want to point fingers at why you weren’t successful. I’m the head coach. For it to be a two-way street and be effective with our players I want to take accountability.”

For Bobo, accountability for the 3-9 campaign meant amending his contract. Due to get a $100,000 raise for every year of his contract through 2022, he instead will make $1.8 million for the second consecutive year in 2019. The (Loveland, Colorado) Reporter-Herald reported that Bobo’s decision will have no effect on his contract beyond this season, meaning he is scheduled to make $2 million in 2020. 

“It was just something that was on my heart and being the head coach I wanted to take personal accountability for the 2018 season,” Bobo said of his monetary decision. 

Bobo’s decision left a big impression on his boss, Colorado State athletics director Joe Parker. 

“I thought that was a pretty telling step, really speaks to the character of Mike Bobo and really how he feels about his leadership of the program and where he thinks we need to be as opposed to where we were this year,” Parker said about Bobo’s decision in another video released by the school on Tuesday. 

“I think he felt an obligation that was unfulfilled by a three-win season and wanted to make a statement that was significant and I think that is one.”