Every position coaching job at the FBS level is tough, but coaching defensive backs at Alabama may be the toughest. Yes, you get to mold some of the best talent amateur football has to offer, but you’re doing so under the watchful eye of Nick Saban.
Not only that, you’re coaching Nick Saban’s position on Nick Saban’s staff. The greatest college football coach of his generation made his name in the profession coaching DBs — doing so at West Virginia, Ohio State, Navy, Michigan State and for the Houston Oilers from 1978-89 — and so there’s no way you can do the job he hired you to do better than he can do it himself. Every single day he’s watching you, knowing he can do it better.
Not everyone can handle that kind of spotlight.
The plus side? You’ll make more money coaching defensive backs at Alabama than anywhere else in the country.
Below are the 10 highest-paid paid defensive backs coaches in college football.
1. Charles Kelly, Alabama — $800,000
2. Charlton Warren, Georgia — $725,435
3. Chris Partridge, Ole Miss — $625,000
4. Keith Heyward, Oregon — $600,000
5. Karl Scott, Alabama — $550,000
6. Mike Reed, Clemson — $540,000
7. Mickey Conn, Clemson — $515,000
8. Steve Clinkscale, Kentucky — $500,000
8. Paul Rhoads, UCLA — $500,000
10. Anthony Poindexter, Purdue — $460,000
10. Corey Raymond, LSU — $460,000
— Travaris Robinson earns $1.2 million to coordinate South Carolina’s defensive while also coaching the secondary. Kerry Coombs also earns $1.2 million at Ohio State, as does Arkansas’s Barry Odom, while Derrick Ansley makes a flat $1 million at Tennessee. Phil Parker earns $800,000 at Iowa.
— Kelly is Alabama’s associate defensive coordinator — never seen that title before — and safeties coach.
— Maybe he couldn’t take another day with Jim Harbaugh, maybe he was tired of the cold or maybe he was just that desperate to quit coaching special teams. Either way, when coaches leave one gig for another they usually do so for a pay raise, but not Chris Partridge. The $625,000 he earns as Lane Kiffin’s co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach was the same he would have made as Michigan’s special teams coordinator and safeties coach.
— We don’t yet know what TJ Rushing will earn at Texas A&M, nor Jay Valai at Texas.
— The margin to make the top 10 was the slimmest I’ve found yet. Ron English beat out Michigan’s Bob Shoop and his own co-worker, Florida cornerbacks coach Torrian Gray, by all of $1,500.
— The original version of this article omitted Clinkscale’s raise at Kentucky.
— 40 entries in, the number of non-SEC/Clemson coaches on the list: 9.