Kirby Smart becomes college football's latest million-dollar assistant
To the victor goes the spoils.
After back-to-back national championships in which he guided an Alabama defense that finished first nationally in rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense in each of the past two seasons, Kirby Smart has become college football's latest seven-figure assistant. Smart will make $1.15 million in 2013 and $1.35 million in 2014 and 2015 should he remain the Crimson Tide's defensive coordinator.
As Birmingham News reporter Jon Solomon notes, the rise in Alabama's place in the college football universe under Nick Saban has been mirrored by the Crimson Tide's defensive coordinator salary. Saban's first defensive coordinator in Tuscaloosa, Kevin Steele, made $350,000 in 2007. Smart will make a full $1 million more than that beginning next season.
According to the USA Today salary database, Smart will be the second-highest paid assistant in college football, trailing only Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and his $1.3 million salary. Former USC defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was previously Morris' only company in the million-dollar club. Newly-hired LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is scheduled to earn $1.3 million in 2013 and $1.5 million in 2014. Cameron's counterpart, defensive coordinator John Chavis, checked in just below the seven-figure threshold in 2012 with a $911,250 salary.
There likely will be three college football assistant coaching staffs making at least $4 million in 2013 season: LSU, Alabama, Clemson.— Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) April 16, 2013
Smart's salary would have placed him ahead of 51 FBS head coaches during the 2012 season, just ahead of Boston College's Frank Spaziani ($1,094,976) and Minnesota's Jerry Kill ($1.2 million).
Alabama will pay its assistant coaches $4.38 million in 2013, on top of Saban's $5.37 million salary.
Below are the new salaries for the other Tide assistants:
- Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier: $680,000 (from $590,000)
- Linebackers coach Lance Thompson: $400,000 (from $375,000)
- Tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Bobby Williams: $400,000 (from $350,000)
- Defensive line coach: Chris Rumph $360,000 (from $310,000)
- Strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran: $350,000 (from $325,000)
- Running backs coach Burton Buns: $310,000 (from $290,000)
Contracts for Alabama's three new assistants were also approved Monday: offensive line coach Mario Cristobal will make $475,000, while wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Billy Napier and defensive backs coach Greg Brown will earn $300,000 each. Newly-hired director of player personnel Kevin Steele will make $200,000 in each year of his two-year contract.
Each assistant also received a membership to the North River Yacht Club and can earn postseason bonuses of up to 16 percent.