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Foster's deal worth about $1 million

How much does it take to keep one of the nation’s top defensive coordinators? Answer: about $1 million.

Virginia Tech’s Bud Foster agreed in principle to an annuity package worth approximately $1 million, according to a person briefed on the arrangement who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the university has not made an announcement.

The deal has not been finalized and the university has not released information about the financial details of the agreement because lawyers are reviewing the material and figuring out the arrangements regarding how it will be taxed, the person said.

The Hokies added a level of stability to their program by offering Foster, who has been approached by several schools about their defensive coordinator openings, a financial arrangement on Dec. 14 that he said would keep him in place at Virginia Tech. Athletic Director Jim Weaver said then that Foster would be given an annuity package if he continues to coach the Hokies over the next five seasons.

Weaver also said at the time that Foster’s annual compensation, which is more than $400,000, will not change under the new arrangement. But if Foster remains at Virginia Tech for the next five years, he is guaranteed an annuity said to total about $1 million.

It was not the first time Virginia Tech has sweetened Foster’s financial arrangement to keep him in Blacksburg. In December 2007, for example, Foster received a raise of more than $50,000 after declining South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier’s offer for him to become the Gamecocks’ defensive coordinator.

In the weeks before the most recent deal was struck, Georgia Coach Mark Richt made the most serious overture toward Foster about the Bulldogs’ opening at defensive coordinator. Foster said Urban Meyer of Florida and Jimbo Fisher of Florida State also called him about the defensive coordinator vacancies at their programs.

Foster, considered one of the nation’s top defensive coordinators, has been in the mix for head coaching openings in the past. He has been selective about job openings in previous years, saying that he would prefer to leave for a Bowl Championship Series program.

By Mark Viera  |  January 13, 2010; 1:08 PM ET
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