Lane Kiffin Earns $100k for Ole Miss Win, Missed Game With COVID-19

  • Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin earned $100,000 for his team’s first win of the season.
  • The second-year head coach took home a bonus even though he wasn’t physically at the season opener.
  • Despite he and his team being 100% vaccinated, Kiffin tested positive for COVID-19 before the game.

Lane Kiffin is $100,000 richer thanks to a game he didn’t even attend.

The University of Mississippi head football coach had 100,000 extra reasons to coach his Rebels to victory as they took on Louisville in their 2021 season opener. In addition to his $4.5 million base salary, Kiffin is eligible for a 100 grand bonus every time Ole Miss takes down a non-conference opponent in the Power Five.

But like so much of the past year and a half, the pandemic muddled things up.

Lane Kiffin stands on the sideline for Ole Miss.

Kiffin stands on the sideline for Ole Miss.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports


Kiffin tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Rebels’ matchup against the Cardinals. Though he and 100% of his team and staff are vaccinated, Kiffin had no choice but to take in the game from home instead of along the sidelines at the Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A Kickoff game.

Still, the 46-year-old was “involved in game planning leading up to kickoff” the same way he usually would be, the school said in a release. And with “no change in gameday coaching responsibilities for the staff,” Kiffin essentially remained the head coach from afar.

Turns out his presence wasn’t necessary to Ole Miss’ success. The Rebels romped Louisville 43-24, and after the rout, Mississippi athletics director Keith Carter confirmed to USA Today that Kiffin would still get his bonus payout despite not physically attending the game.

Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral runs the ball against the Louisville Cardinals.

Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral runs the ball against the Louisville Cardinals.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports


The University itself doesn’t actually sign the paycheck. Instead, the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation — a private, non-profit organization — is responsible for Kiffin’s $4.5 million salary and various bonuses.

While the Rebels aren’t scheduled to face another non-conference Power Five opponent this season, Kiffin still has more than $1 million on the line in incentives. He’ll earn $150,000 for each SEC foe Ole Miss takes down this year beginning with its fifth conference win, plus he’ll be eligible for $150,000 if his Rebels advance to the SEC Championship game.

Should they win, he’ll get $400,000. Whether he has to be there to cash in on the deal remains to be seen.

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