Lovie Smith talks to the media at a press conference to introduce Smith as the 25th head coach of he University of Illinois football team at the Bielfeldt Administration Building , in Champaign, Ill., on Monday March 7, 2016. (John Dixon/The News-Gazette
AP Photo
March 16, 2016

URBANA, Ill. (AP) University of Illinois trustees have approved a contract that could pay new football coach Lovie Smith as much as $29 million over six years.

Smith will be paid $2 million a year his first two seasons under the deal approved Wednesday. His salary would rise to $3 million in his third year, $4 million in his fourth season and $5 million in years five and six.

Smith will be paid a $1 million bonus if he remains at Illinois for three seasons and again if he stays all six seasons.

The former Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach could also be paid up to $1 million every season in performance bonuses.

Details of Smith's buyout if he is fired have not yet been made public.

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