The coaching market does not operate like the real world, to put it lightly. The job security is much worse and, in response to that, the rewards are much greater and come more quickly.
At the highest levels of the game, coaches usually receive raises — substantial, we’re not talking 3 percent cost-of-living adjustments here — for each year they’re fortunate enough to stick around in the same gig. A quick perusal through our archives confirms as much.
But here’s the catch: usually you have to coach a full season before schools hand out raises. Or at least a game.
Usually. But not always, as it turns out. The market doesn’t stop when a coach takes a job, and it’s relatively common for coaches to accept one job over the course of an offseason, then leave days or weeks later when a Godfather-style offer-they-can’t-refuse presents itself.
Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman has avoided such a scenario by doling out raises to defensive coordinator Barry Odom and offensive line coach Brad Davis, as obtained in a public records request by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Both received $100,000 bumps; Odom will now make $1.3 million, and Davis will earn $650,000.
Pittman announced in a public appearance earlier this month he had offered sweeteners to both coaches after they were pursued by SEC rivals. Davis was offered by Texas A&M, Pittman said, but declined to specify who came after Odom. LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt all hired coordinators after Arkansas hired Odom.
“I think at that point, you’ve hired good men and they’re going to give you an opportunity to keep them,” Pittman said on March 12. “So that’s what I did.”
Both coaches joined Pittman’s staff from Missouri, where Odom was the Tigers’ head coach and Davis coached the offensive line.
The raise pushes Davis from out of the top 10 into a tie for sixth place among the highest-paid offensive line coaches in college football.
Ironically, Pittman’s move as head coach echoes a page from his own personal history where, per the Democrat-Gazette, then-head Hog Bret Bielema nearly doubled Pittman’s salary from $275,000 to $500,000 and gave him a 2-year contract when Alabama pursued him for its offensive line opening back in 2013.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.