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UCLA to pay Norm Chow $500,000 not to coach the Bruins this season

July 13, 2011 |  4:00 pm

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UCLA will be paying former Bruins offensive coordinator Norm Chow $500,000 while he’s coaching at Utah this year, according to information obtained by The Times in a Freedom of Information request.

The money was the buyout price to get Chow to resign in January after he had been fired as offensive coordinator. He would have been reassigned had he not resigned.

Chow immediately jumped to Utah and signed a two-year, $550,000 contract to be the Utes’ offensive coordinator. He is Utah’s highest paid assistant coach.

UCLA's highest paid assistants are defensive coordinator Joe Tresey and offensive coordinator Mike Johnson, who both have $250,000 base salaries.

Chow was considered a coup when Bruins’ Coach Rick Neuheisel hired him in 2008. He had developed three quarterbacks who won the Heisman Trophy. But the Bruins struggled after switching to the “pistol” offense last season and Neuheisel decided to make a change.

Chow and UCLA officials had agreed on a two-year, $1.1-million contract extension, the offshoot of USC’s interest in Chow after the 2009 season. After a more than a month of negotiations, UCLA and Chow agreed on a buyout.

Combined with his Utah salary, Chow will earn $1.05-million the next two seasons, only $50,000 less than if he had been retained at UCLA.

UCLA plays at Utah on Nov. 12.

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Photo: Former UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow talks to a group of players during a team practice session in October. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

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