EL PASO -- Success comes with a cost and UTEP could be getting ready to reward the coach of its most exciting program now.
After deep salary cuts, furloughs and layoffs during the pandemic, the athletic department is looking at what could be new pressure on its budget -- but one the university is rooting for.
According to the contract obtained by ABC-7 through a Texas Public Information Act request, Football Head Coach Dana Dimel was making about a $711,000 base salary before taking a pay cut of more than $71,000 last year.
ABC-7's review of the contract revealed six performance incentives that are within reach for Dimel.
After the Miners won their 6th game of the season, they are eligible to play in a bowl. If they are selected, Dimel would earn a one-month base annual salary incentive -- or just shy of $60,000.
The miners are currently in a tie for first place in the C-USA West.
If they win the division, Dimel would earn another one-month base salary bonus.
If they do that and win in the C-USA championship game, another $60,000 bonus would be added.
That could also set up Dimel for the C-USA Coach of the Year award, which would bring him another $60,000.
Then, there's the largest possible bonus: National Coach of the Year. If the team keeps its momentum, it would be one of the best turnarounds seen in college football history. The accolade would mean nearly $120,000 for Dimel.
With one year left on his contract, the coach could earn a $75,000 retention bonus if he commits to stay in the program another year.
If all six bonus are awarded, it would mean nearly $431,000 in incentives, which would put Dimel over $1 million earned for this season alone.
These are not the only bonuses in his contract.
There are others tied to attendance numbers, ticket sales, graduation rates and team grade point averages.
ABC-7 first reported the pay cuts taken by UTEP's football and men's basketball coaches last year to help offset the impact of the pandemic. Two months later, ABC-7 first reported then men's basketball head coach Rodney Terry was awarded a one-year extension in exchange for a larger cut. Dana Dimel was not. At the time, athletic director Jim Senter admitted to ABC-7 he wanted to see the football program improve.
"I did talk to Coach Dimel about the fact that we were going to extend Coach Terry for a year and I explained to him why and what we saw out of the program and where we were at," Senter said. "I didn't feel like we were there with football and I told coach (Dimel) that."
What a difference a year makes.