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North Texas passes Spiriki as they take the field for their season opener game against Abilene Christian earlier this season at Apogee Stadium in Denton.

North Texas won't play in a bowl game for the first time in Seth Littrell's four seasons with the Mean Green this fall.

Finishing 4-8 was certainly costly in terms of momentum for the program. It won't help in recruiting either.

There will be a cost that goes beyond that, though, according to Littrell's contract and those of his assistant coaches.

Littrell has a clause in his contract that pays $35,000 for a bowl appearance. He also has a provision that pays him on an escalating basis for winning six conference games or seven total. The scale starts at $20,000 and increases for each win up to $70,000.

UNT's assistants also missed out on a bonus when the Mean Green missed the postseason. Littrell's coaches have provisions in their contracts that provide them one month's pay for playing in a bowl game.

The bottom line is that Littrell and his staff left some money on the table when they didn't lead the Mean Green to a bowl.

UNT's struggles were the reason the school parted ways with offensive coordinator Bodie Reeder and defensive coordinator Troy Reffett.

Reffett and Reeder were both on one-year contracts like most college football assistants. Reffett was earning $295,000 per year, while Reeder was earning $275,000.

Both have buyout clauses that pay them three month's salary from their termination date, or the time left on their deals, whichever is shorter. The contracts of all of UNT's assistant coaches expire on March 31.

Littrell will now consider his options in terms of who he will bring in as his new coordinators.

The decision will be a vital one for Littrell.

We went over the overall situation at UNT and the challenges Littrell faces yesterday. 

It's a little early to tell what direction UNT will turn, but one intriguing possibility could be the one right under everyone's nose.

What about Mark Mangino?

Mangino was the FBS national coach of the year at Kansas and was Littrell's offensive coordinator during his playing days at Oklahoma. 

Mangino has spent time at practice throughout the fall and was at UNT's season-ending loss to UAB. Littrell said he has spent a lot of time talking through the situation at UNT with Mangino. 

He's been out of the game since he left Iowa State after the 2015 season.

Mangino hinted at a return to coaching a little more than a year ago:

Could Littrell's discussions with Mangino included the possibility of him returning to the sideline?

It's not hard to see the fit. 

Littrell is hands-on with UNT's offense. He hired a coach he didn't have a history with in Reeder and wasn't happy with the results.

Mangino is someone he would likely feel more comfortable with. Mangino's son Tommy is also on Littrell's staff as a quality control coach.

It's too early to see if that is the direction Littrell will go, but it is an intriguing possibility to consider.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

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