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Is Josh Gattis' salary at Michigan an anomaly or the start of a new trend?

In 2017, Michigan became the first program to employ not one, not two but three $1 million assistant coaches -- defensive coordinator Don Brown, offensive coordinator Tim Drevno, and passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton.

Drevno is no longer at Michigan and has since been replaced -- we'll expand upon this in a minute -- by new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, whom Jim Harbaugh plucked away from Maryland at the eleventh hour.

And though Drevno's place on the staff has been replaced, his salary has not. Not exactly.

Gattis has agreed to a 3-year contract that will pay him a $900,000 salary, a $200,000 signing bonus and up to $400,000 in performance bonuses.

Coaching salaries typically move in one direction: up. But Gattis will make less than Michigan's last offensive coordinator. For instance, Brown made $1.3 million in 2018, while Hamilton made $1.45 million.

There are mitigating factors here, of course. Drevno had a prior relationship with Harbaugh and prior offensive coordinator experience at San Diego. Gattis has no prior offensive coordinator experience. (In another data point: Tennessee gave Jim Chaney a 3-year, $4.8 million contract, averaging $1.6 million a year, to leave his $950,000 salary in the same job at Georgia.) In total, 21 coaches made at least $1 million in 2018 according to the USA Today salary database, one of those being Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, who made $1.158 million in his one season in Columbus before leaving for the defensive coordinator job (and more money) at Oklahoma.

But though Gattis had no offensive coordinator experience through the 2018 season, he was set to become Maryland's offensive coordinator before Harbaugh hired him; such a status prodded Harbaugh to award Gattis an offensive coordinator title for the first time since Drevno departed the staff after the 2017 season. (Michigan did not have an offensive coordinator in 2018.)

“Getting the right person on the bus. Someone who could coordinate our offense and run the whole offense. Very excited about that. We got better,” Harbaugh said of Gattis on his podcast. “Started to think about that. The analogy of getting the right people on the bus. Looking at, we’ve had some coaches depart, that was an opportunity to our football team to grow and make ourselves better.”

All of which begs the question: why isn't Gattis making what other Michigan coordinators are making? At a school that has the money to re-set the market if they so choose, Michigan's offensive coordinator come in somewhere around No. 30 among assistant coaching salaries in 2019 -- and No. 3 on his own staff. Is it possible that the Gattis hiring is indicative that schools no longer to feel the pressure to hand out salary increases just because?

One data point does not make a trend, but if this does become a trend, we'll remember Gattis making "only" $900,000 at Michigan as the point when the arrow on coaching salaries stopped pointing straight upward.

Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching change and job information.