In football, special teams are kind of like insurance policies. When times are good, the car is running fine, you start to wonder why you pay so much for this policy in the first place. But when times aren’t good — you come home from a weekend at the in-laws to discover ankle-deep water covering your entire house, to pick a random example — you’d pay whatever any monthly premium necessary to make the problem go away.
College football coaches are insurance agents, and their bosses will pay a premium to make sure their toilets never spring a leak and their opponent’s drives all start inside their own 30.
As part of our ongoing series, FootballScoop has examined the 10 highest-paid special teams coordinators in college football. All information is based on publicly available information, primarily from the USA Today salary database.
1. Bob Gregory, Washington — $550,000
2. Larry Porter, Auburn — $525,000
3. Chris Partridge, Michigan — $500,000
4. Danny Pearman, Clemson — $480,000
5. Jovan Dewitt, Nebraska — $475,000
5. Coleman Hutzler, South Carolina — $475,000
7. James Shibest, Virginia Tech — $445,000
8. Mark Staten, Michigan State — $438,000
9. Jay Boulware, Oklahoma — $435,000
10. Jeff Banks, Alabama — $434,000
— Every one of the coaches listed above has positional responsibilities in addition to coaching special teams. Tight ends (Porter, Perman, Shibest, Banks) was the most popular position — and we’d bet is the most common across the entire sport — but safeties (Naivar, Partridge) and linebackers (Gregory, Dewitt, Hutzler) also had multiple entrants. Boulware also coaches Oklahoma’s running backs. Gregory also has an assistant head coach title.
— Since the original publication of this list, Texas has switched special teams responsibilities from Craig Naivar ($500,000 in 2018) to Derek Warehime ($400,000), while Michigan State handed special teams duties to Staten, who coached Sparty’s offensive line in 2018 and will now handle tight ends in addition to special teams.