Skip to main content

The highest-paid running backs coaches in college football: 2021 edition

Though their job duties are very different, in practice, pay for running backs coaches and special teams coordinators are quite similar.

Special teams coordinators, in theory, coach nearly every player on the roster, and they're responsible for all 11 players on the field at a given time. Running backs coaches coach six to eight players on the roster and, on a down-to-down basis, they're responsible for just one.

And since they're not responsible for four or five guys on a play-by-play basis like their counterparts in the secondary or the offensive line, their pay tends to also cover other duties outside their official purview. They're recruiting coordinators, run game coordinators and, most commonly, assistant/associate head coaches. Running backs coaches are often expected to be difference-makers on the recruiting trail as well.

Because of all the reasons listed above, coaching RBs can often be the most thankless job on the staff. Do it poorly and everyone notices. Do it well and the public believes anyone can coach your guys.

Without further ado, here's the list:

1. Dell McGee, Georgia -- $675,000+
2. Stan Drayton, Texas -- $650,000+
3. Tony Alford, Ohio State -- $618,000+
4. Curtis Luper, Missouri -- $550,000
5. Deland McCullough, Indiana -- $515,000+
6. Greg Knox, Florida -- $497,000+
7. Tommie Robinson, Texas A&M -- $493,000
8. Jim Mastro, Oregon -- $481,000
9. David Johnson, Florida State -- $420,000
10. Mike Hart, Michigan -- $415,000
11. Ryan Held, Nebraska -- $400,000+
11. Jerry Mack, Tennessee -- $400,000
13. Kevin Faulk, LSU -- $350,000
13. DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma -- $350,000
13. Cadillac Williams, Auburn -- $350,000
+ - associate head coach/run game coordinator/recruiting coordinator

PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS:Offensive Line | Defensive Backs | Wide Receivers | Special Teams

Additional notes:

-- We don't yet know what Robert Gillespie will make at Alabama. He earned $440,000 at North Carolina.

-- CJ Spiller's $300,000 salary represents a significant cost savings for Clemson. Danny Pearman made $545,000 last year before moving into a director of scouting role.

-- John Settle made $425,000 at Wisconsin, so he'll almost certainly take home more than that at Kentucky.

-- Indiana makes its first appearance on the list. Losing Mike Hart to Michigan resulted in Tom Allen luring McCullough away from the Kansas City Chiefs, making $100,000 more than Hart earns in Ann Arbor and $140,000 more than Hart earned at IU.