The athletics director of your typical FBS university pulls in between $500,000 and $1.5 million. It’s good money, yes, but those ADs earn it by managing a staff ranging from a head football coach to the athletic trainer of the volleyball team. They put on hundreds of events per year, every weekend from August to May or even June, all while fundraising for the athletics department and working to ensure their players get a proper student-athlete experience.
And then there are bowl directors.
Like ADs, bowl directors are responsible for managing a staff that puts on…. one game a year? Or maybe three or four?
USA Today took a deep dive into bowl director salaries on Thursday and found that a lucrative industry has become even more lucrative of late. The lowest-paid bowl director, Mike Gottfried of the Dollar General Bowl, made $100,000, according to the most recent tax filing on record. The highest paid? The Cotton Bowl’s Rick Baker took home $1.2 million.
“A lot of those guys have huge numbers of volunteers that they manage,” Wright Waters, head of the Football Bowl Association, told the paper. “They’ve got staffs to accommodate, and they work all year. And when you compare that number to the people they do business with, it’s right in line with what they’re doing.”
Another data point to consider: the American Red Cross. That charity handles nearly half of the nation’s blood supply and collected $2.6 billion in revenue in 2015. And how much did its chief executive make that year? $534,000, a couple grand less than the director of the Alamo Bowl.
Here’s a chart courtesy of USA Today: