When Florida State won the 2014 BCS championship game, the Seminoles earned coach Jimbo Fisher a $325,000 bonus.

Sizeable, sure, but that's nothing compared to the bonus Louisville coach Bobby Petrino is set to receive for an achievement that has nothing to do with football.

According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, Petrino is in line for a $500,000 bonus for his players maintaining a score of 935 on their Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the 2013-2014 academic year. This measure was developed as an early indication of graduation rates, and a 925 correlates to roughly a 50 percent graduation rate.

The school is still calculating the APR for 2013-2014, but it is confident Petrino exceeded the threshold. If Petrino earns the payout, it will be one of the largest bonuses ever given by a school to its coach, and perhaps the largest for a non-football related achievement.

Making the payment all the more unusual is that Petrino wasn't even at the school for half of the last academic year (he was hired on Jan. 9, 2014).


Louisville has placed so much importance on this measure in part because it lost three scholarships for the football team for the 2009-10 season when the school's APR dropped to 908.

"We previously experienced a significant dip in our APR when a coaching changeover occurred," Louisville sports information director Kenny Klein told Rovell, "and that is not happening now."

Petrino's bonus is 10 times what his predecessor Charlie Strong (now at Texas) would have made had the team's APR hit 950 during Strong's time at the school. It's also two-and-a-half times larger than the bonus Petrino would get if Louisville won the national championship.

Petrino, who is in his second stint as coach at Louisville, is earning $3 million in salary. The Cardinals are 7-3 in their first season in the ACC.