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One hundred FBS assistants make at least $400,000 a year

Earlier today we wrote about the challenging phenomenon the MAC faces in attempting to hire away assistants from programs inside power five conferences, when the simple act of accepting a MAC head job requires a $200,000 (or more) pay cut. Perhaps the most interesting nugget to emerge from that story:

Close to (or slightly more than) 100 FBS assistants are now making at least $400,000 a year. 

Officially, USA Today lists 86 assistants at the $400,000 mark. But when you include major private universities not included in the study - USC, Notre Dame, Stanford, Miami, Vanderbilt, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, TCU and Boston College, to name nine - we feel safe in upping the number to 100. 

The number itself is staggering enough (seriously: 100!), but to really wrap our heads around the salary explosion enjoyed by college football assistants, let's take a look at a handful of case studies of Power Five coordinators from a half-decade ago to today:

Kirby Smart
Then:
 For helping lead Alabama to its first national championship since 1992, Smart was paid $360,000 in 2009.
Now: Without changing jobs, Smart is now the highest-paid defensive coordinator in college football. He made $1,150,350 in 2013.
Increase: 220 percent

John Chavis
Then:
Upon leaving Tennessee for LSU at the end of the 2008 season, Chavis signed a multi-year deal worth $500,000 a year.
Now: Still in the same job, Chavis earned $1,116,667 in 2013. That's a 223 percent increase for staying in the same job. 
Increase: 123 percent

Brent Venables
Then: Venables received a nice 18.9 percent raise from the 2007 season to 2008, jumping from $265,000 to $315,000. He was by far the highest-paid assistant on Bob Stoops' staff.
Now: After leaving for Dabo Swinney's dream team in 2012 at Clemson, Venables had leaped all the way to $800,000 by 2013.
Increase: 154 percent

Ellis Johnson
Then: As South Carolina's defensive coordinator, Johnson was paid $350,000 to help the Gamecocks go 7-6 in 2009.
Now: Two jobs later, Johnson netted $800,000 as Auburn's defensive coordinator
Increase: 129 percent

Bud Foster
Then: After receiving an offer to join Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, Foster received a $50,000 raise to $350,000 to stay at Virginia Tech in 2008.
Now: Still at Virginia Tech, Foster made a modest $535,785 in 2013.
Increase: 53 percent

Author: Zach Barnett
Zach Barnett is a native of Denton, Texas and a graduate of the University of Texas. He joined FootballScoop in 2012 after two years at the National Football Foundation. His hobbies include watching college football, reading about college football and writing about college football.