Nine Alabama high school coaches earn more than $100,000 a year
It should come as no surprise that the folks in Alabama are passionate about their football. It’s a small state with limited resources, yet the coaches of its two major programs combined to make more than $11 million a year. That’s roughly $2 per resident. By comparison, Texas head coach Charlie Strong and Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin would have to earn a combined $50 million to match Alabama’s dollar-per-resident ratio. The people in Alabama love their football and are more than willing to put their money where their heart lies, is what we’re saying.
And with that said, coaching salaries in Alabama’s high school ranks is beginning to mirror – or in some cases surpass – the arms race that FBS has seen over the past 10 years. To wit, according to a report by AL.com, the title of Alabama’s highest-paid high school football coach has changed hands four times in the last 10 months alone.
Last June, Hewitt-Trussville lured Josh Floyd, a four-time state champion in Arkansas, with a $120,000 salary, the highest in the state at the time. Then Thompson gave Mark Freeman a raise to $121,000 a year, only to be quickly surpassed in February after Auburn hired Fairhope head coach Adam Winegarden and gave him a $123,000 salary. Finally, earlier this month Hoover head coach Josh Niblett jumped to the front of the line with a raise from $114,471 to a state-best $125,000. And most of these guys don’t even teach.
“It has kind of been getting outrageous,” Niblett told AL.com. “It started off with the money college coaches were making, but I think if you go to other states like Texas or Georgia you will find [high school] guys making a lot more than $125,000. The numbers those guys are making — and not teaching — are unbelievable.”
In all, AL.com found nine coaches topping six figures; the site also reported that less than a dozen years ago the state’s highest paid coach earned a shade over $86,000 a year. It’s a trend that no one in the state is necessarily proud of, but all recognize as the cost of doing business at the highest level of high school football in the state.
“That was sure going to be OK with me, brother, to pass that highest-paid coach in the state stuff on,” Freeman said. “That brings a lot of pressure, but at the same time no coach I know got into coaching and working with kids to make more money than anybody else.”
The #DailyDose: Who would you take with the #1 overall draft pick?
With the NFL Draft starting on Thursday, this week’s #DailyDose theme will center around the draft.
Today’s question for the FootballScoop staff: If you were Tampa Bay with the #1 overall draft pick, who are you taking?
There’s been no shortage of speculation between Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Florida State’s Jameis Winston, so here’s how the FootballScoop staff sees things.
Scott’s choice: Scott is currently working the phones with multiple GMs evaluating trade proposals. Will update.
Doug’s choice: Oregon QB Marcus Mariota
In the shoes of the Tampa Bay General Manager, I see no better person more worthy of the #1 overall pick than Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. Forget the NFL Draft analysts that say the system at Oregon didn’t prepare him for The League (that wasn’t the Oregon’s staff’s job), Mariota may not be the prototypical NFL quarterback right now, but he is the best person for the #1 money the Bucs will pony up.
To be completely honest, off the field issues did play a big part in my decision to take Mariota over Jameis Winston at #1. If you’re going to write a monster check at the #1 pick, you want to be assured that you’re getting a high character guy, with the background and track record to back everything up, and I would argue that no Heisman winner has handled being under a microscope and the spotlight better than Mariota since the days of Tim Tebow (2007), Sam Bradford (2008), or Robert Griffin III (2011).
Does Winston have a better arm and more NFL ready body right now? Probably. But leading an NFL franchise is so much more than that and the coupling of Mariota’s unique skill set, poise, and character only come around so often, and when you’re in need of an franchise quarterback like the Bucs are, you need to take advantage. If you’re flexible enough to tweak your offense a bit to take advantage of his strengths, I’m confident this will turn out to be an outstanding pick.
To futher my point, how many players get this kind of video tribute from the school’s student athletes in other sports? This is special.
Zach’s choice: Oregon QB Marcus Mariota
I’ve given this question a lot of thought, and I’ve come to two conclusions. First, I’m glad I’m not an NFL general manager; actually, who are we kidding, I’d love to be an NFL GM. Second, if this pick goes up in flames three years from now and I’m living on a Florida beach somewhere, which choice would make it easier to lay my head down on that sand and sleep at night?
The answer is clear: Marcus Mariota.
And it’s not because of Winston’s off-the-field concerns. Frankly, I’d love it if the NFL got out of the conduct police business altogether and admitted it is nothing more than an entertainment vehicle in which it employs the most talented football players the law allows. I’d go with Mariota because he’s incredibly fun to watch and his style of play is more conducive to the type of team I’d like to run. I’ve seen pigheaded talk of Mariota’s game not translating to an NFL-style offense, to which I’d say, “Sir, you are running the wrong type of offense.”
In the end, I’d pick Mariota over Winston not because I see the former as a superior player to the latter, but because I’d rather see my team succeed with Mariota over Winston. And that is why I’m much more likely to sleep on a beach than be an NFL GM.
85% of NFL Draft picks from the last two years were multi-sport athletes in HS
With the NFL Draft starting on Thursday, we figured the importance of playing multiple sports in high school was worth revisiting, which brings me to the following tweet.
— Brian Spilbeler (@CoachSpil) April 27, 2015
As the white board illustration shows, according to the leg work done by the good folks at TrackingFootball.com, of the 510 picks in the last two NFL Drafts, an impressive 85% of them were multi-sport athletes in high school.
Of those 510 draft picks, over half of them were track and field athletes in high school, and just a hair under half of them were basketball players. Interestingly, only 15% of them specialized in football, 7% played baseball, and 3% wrestled during their high school career.
Back in March we did a piece on how nearly 95% of NFL quarterbacks (122 of 128) played at least two sports in high school, and nearly 70% of those guys played three or more. Also in that article – 85% of the 2014 recruiting class for Alabama, Ohio State, and Notre Dame were multi-sport participants.
The above tweet is further research for high school coaches to have handy for the players who come to them and say they want to specialize in football (or really any sport). It couldn’t be any more clear; Specializing in one sport doesn’t pay off. Be a multi-sport athlete.
Video: East Tennessee State has revealed the program’s new uniforms
The East Tennessee State football program, revived this fall for their first game since shutting down in 2003, busted out their new threads earlier today.
The Buccaneers will have a total of six uniform combinations to choose from stemming from blue and white jerseys to go along with blue, gold, and white options in the pants department.
The uniforms may seem a bit plain at first glance, but they were designed with both the future, and past of the program in mind. The helmet the team is wearing, which was first revealed about a year ago, includes gold flecks in the navy blue paint, a tip of the cap to the program’s traditional gold helmets of the past.
“It is a special time to be a Buc and it has been a pleasure to take great care in embracing the past, present and future with these uniforms.” ETSU senior associate AD / COO Scott Carter stated in the official release.
“My friend Wink Baker proudly wore a uniform similar to this during his days as our quarterback in the early 1960s. Hopefully our students, fans and alumni will agree that these uniforms capture a classic look in our beautiful blue and gold.”
How the Seahawks (and a rugby player) changed the way Washington tackles
Chris Petersen had been thinking about changing the way he taught his players to tackle for a while. A conversation with Michael Lose, a former player at Boise State who had taken up rugby as a way to scratch his post-football contact sport itch, enlightened Petersen to the relatively low number of rugby players suffering concussions.
Then, last summer, the Seattle Seahawks released a video detailing how the club had moved to a rugby-style tackling technique. “A couple weeks later,” Petersen told the Seattle Times, “Pete Carroll and the Seahawks come out with their tackling video and it was like, ‘We’ve been right!’”
Now Petersen and his staff are leading the charge in teaching other coaching staffs how to tackle.
“We are fully committed to this,” Petersen said. “It’s the right thing to do. But the really neat thing about this whole thing is, not only is it the right thing to do because it’s the safe thing to do, it’s a better way of tackling.”
That new way of tackling takes the head completely out of the play. Instead of using the head as a weapon, Washington coaches teach their players to place their head at the side or behind a ballcarrier and drive through his thighs.
The way they see it, rugby tackling is an adapt-or-die moment in football’s future.
“Let’s just open our eyes: The game’s already changed. They’re changing the rules and it’s going to change even more. So let’s just be in front of it. Let’s do it the right way. To me, we don’t have a choice.”