Gophers defensive coordinator Joe Rossi, who oversaw a unit that ranked third nationally in fewest yards per game in 2021, received a one-year contract extension through the 2024 season and a pay raise, pending Board of Regents approval next week.
Rossi, 43, signed two-year extension in December that bumped his salary $150,000 to $800,000 for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Under this new deal that runs through Jan. 31, 2025, he will continue to make $800,000 in the upcoming season and will receive a raise of $50,000 in both 2023, when he will make $850,000, and 2024, when he will make $900,000. His salary in 2022 ranks 10th among Big Ten defensive coordinators.
Rossi's buyout terms increased in the amended contact. Should he leave the Gophers before Jan. 31, 2023, he would owe a $225,000 buyout. The amount drops to $175,000 in the second year of the deal and $150,000 in the third year. In the December extension, the buyout was $150,000 for both 2022 and 2023. The buyout is waved if Rossi takes an NCAA Division I head coaching job or if he leaves the Gophers after the final game of the contract's final year.
Under Rossi, the Gophers gave up 278.8 yards per game in 2021, third in the nation in total defense behind Wisconsin and Georgia on the way to a 9-4 season. Minnesota gave up 17.3 points per game, sixth-fewest among the 130 FBS teams. According to multiple media reports, Rossi was a candidate for the Notre Dame defensive coordinator position under new coach Marcus Freeman. The Irish hired Cincinnati Bengals assistant and former Miami (Fla.) coach Al Golden to fill that role.