The highest paid public employee in 26 out of 50 states is a football coach

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If feel the urge to quantify the importance of football coaches around the country, or feel the urge to start a debate among colleagues and friends in academia, this graphic should do the trick.

According to a tally from this graphic shared this afternoon by research done by Deadspin and Vala Afshar, the highest paid public employee in 26 out of 50 states is a football coach.

Among the remaining 23 states, basketball coaches make up the second highest paid public employees totaling 12 states (with Minnesota's being a tie between their football and basketball coaches), while college presidents make up the highest comped in 5 states, med school deans / department chairs / chancellors in another 4 states, while Nevada lists a med school plastic surgeon as their highest paid, and Maine's highest paid is a law school dean

Seeing this type of breakdown spanning across state lines is always fascinating, and also serves as a good reminder on the importance the public puts on football coaches, right, wrong, or indifferent.