What’s more important: stopping the run or the pass? It’s actually a trick question. You’ve got to stop both if you want to field a competent defense, and you’re going to need a great defensive line either way.
The best defensive line coaches are worth their weight in dollar bills, because they can mask the struggles of the other positions on the field unlike any other position group this side of a transcendent quarterback. And like quarterbacks, great defensive linemen are among the most sought-after commodities in the game, so those that can find and develop them are compensated accordingly.
1. Larry Johnson, Ohio State — $750,000
2. Rodney Garner, Auburn — $650,000
2. Joe Salave’a, Oregon — $650,000
4. Tracy Rocker, Tennessee — $505,000
5. Reese Morgan, Iowa — $500,000
5. Freddie Roach, Ole Miss — $500,000
5. Terry Price, Texas A&M — $500,000
8. Odell Haggins, Florida State — $482,000
9. Brick Haley, Missouri — $477,000
10. Mike Dawson, Nebraska — $475,000
10. Mark Snyder, Florida State — $475,000
Other notes of interest:
— While nothing is official yet, reporting from us and other outlets indicate Sal Sunseri is leaving Florida to replace Alabama defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski. Had both remained in place, both would have placed on this list. Kuligowski made $750,000 in 2018, while Sunseri took in $577,000.
— Technically speaking, Florida State spends more on its defensive line than anyone else in college football. Put together, Haggins and Snyder made $957,000 in 2018.
— No Power 5 coaches are underpaid but if they were, Clemson’s Todd Bates and Lemanski Hall have to be among the most underpaid coaches in college football. The pair put together one of the best defensive lines in college football history at a bargain basement price of $600,000.