Plunkett: Head coach Mike Bobo’s contract is bad business

Rory Plunkett

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Last December, Mike Bobo signed a five-year contract extension, so he’ll be the Colorado State University football program’s head coach through 2022.


Joe Parker, CSU’s athletic director, was convinced that Bobo was leading the program in the right direction and, with this new deal, raised Bobo’s salary to $1.85 million.

This is a bad contract on behalf of CSU because Mike Bobo has not deserved this amount of money, especially considering other coaches’ salaries in the Mountain West Conference.

Boise State’s Bryan Harsin, arguably the best coach in the Mountain West division, is paid about $1.5 million a year, according to Harsin’s public employment contract records. Boise State is 2-1 on the year with a combined score of 139-71 over their trio of opponents.

Colorado State, on the other hand, has lost three of their first four games and their aggregate score is 91-163, with CSU only scoring 91 points in four games compared to Boise State’s 118 points in two games. 

Mike Bobo is overpaid and needs to prove his worth in the remaining games he has this season.

Harsin is paid less than Mike Bobo though he has produced better results in a fewer number of games.

While the relative strength of each schedule should also be taken into account — with CSU having one of the hardest — a 1-3 start for CSU Football is not promising for a coach that received a pay raise.

CSU should not be last in the Mountain West standings if Bobo is guaranteed $1.85 million in 2018.

While other coaches in our conference are being paid less and producing better results, Joe Parker seems confident in Bobo’s ability to lead CSU’s football program.

Since Bobo has been the head coach, CSU has been to three bowl games, but we have lost four Rocky Mountain Showdowns.

The last time we won a Rocky Mountain Showdown was 2014, when Jim McElwain was CSU’s head coach.


While three bowl games look good for a resume of a new head coach, four losses to Boulder should stand out as well, in a bad way. Bobo needs to step up and show us that he is worth the hefty $1.85 million salary.

Bobo’s health has become a factor as well. Bobo was not able to coach the season opener against Hawaii. It is possible that Bobo will not be able to commit or perform as he focuses on his health.

With this new contract, it would be even more expensive for CSU to buy Bobo out than for CSU to wait out the contract. Therefore Bobo could not be concerned with how his team plays as long as he knows he will get paid.

Bobo is overpaid in relation to Harsin, but Bobo’s results do not match Harsin’s or meet the CSU community’s expectations to beat our rivals.

Bobo is overpaid and needs to prove his worth in the remaining games he has left this season.

Rory Plunkett can be reached at and on Twitter @jericho_wav.