Nick Saban

One of the greatest resources we have in our business is the annual USA Today Coaching Salary Database. Personally, I can’t say how many times I visited the 2013 edition in the past 365 days, but I know it was in the triple digits.

The USA Today folks released the 2014 edition on Wednesday and – brace yourselves, folks – Nick Saban is the highest-paid coach in college football. Saban is the only coach to top the $7 million mark, and stands $1.5 million ahead of Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio.

Here’s the top 15:

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Five coaches bank at least $5 million a year, 11 top $4 million a year, 27 make at least $3 million, 51 earn at least $2 million, and 72 coaches hit at least $1 million a year.

Some more fun with numbers:

– The highest-paid non-Power Five coach is Cincinnati’s Tommy Tuberville at $2.2 million a year, which places him 44th nationally

– The lowest-paid Power Five coach is Rutgers’ Kyle Flood at $987,000 a year (73rd nationally), though he did sign an extension in September.

– The average FBS salary has more than doubled in the past eight years, from $950,000 to $1.95 million.

– The median salary belongs to Oregon State’s Mike Riley at $1.51 million.

The three highest and three lowest paid coaches per conference are:

American
1. Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati – $2.2 million
2. June Jones, SMU – $2.019 million
3. George O’Leary, Central Florida – $1.8 million

8. Justin Fuente, Memphis – $1.006 million
9. Curtis Johnson, Tulane – $867,000
10. Bill Blankenship, Tulsa – $759,000

ACC
1. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State – $3.951 million
2. Dabo Swinney, Clemson – $3.175 million
3. Bobby Petrino, Louisville – $3 million

9. Larry Fedora, North Carolina – $1.83 million
10. Dave Doeren, N.C. State – $1.8 million
11. Paul Chryst, Pittsburgh – $1.578 million

Big 12
1. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma – $5.058 million
2. Charlie Strong, Texas – $5 million
3. Gary Patterson, TCU – $4.008 million

8. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech – $2.605 million (since extended)
9. Charlie Weis, Kansas* – $2.5 million
10. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State – $1.808 million

Big Ten
1. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State – $5.636 million
2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State – $4.536 million
3. James Franklin, Penn State – $4.3 million

12. Tim Beckman, Illinois – $1.95 million
13. Kevin Wilson, Indiana – $1.301 million
14. Kyle Flood, Rutgers – $975,000

Conference USA
1. Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee – $803,000
2. David Bailiff, Rice – $780,000
3. Dan McCarney, North Texas – $711,000

10. Charlie Partridge, Florida Atlantic – $500,000
10. Bill Clark, UAB – $500,000
12. Bobby Wilder, Old Dominion – $486,000
13. Larry Coker, UTSA – $402,000

MAC
1. Frank Solich, Ohio – $554,000
2. Pete Lembo, Ball State – $503,000
3. Matt Campbell, Toledo – $482,000

11. Paul Haynes, Kent State – $383,000
12. Jeff Quinn, Buffalo* – $380,000
13. Dan Enos, Central Michigan – $360,000

Mountain West
1. Jim McElwain, Colorado State – $1.5 million
2. Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State – $1.435 million
3. Bryan Harsin, Boise State – $1 million

10. Matt Wells, Utah State – $576,000
11. Brian Polian, Nevada – $575,000
12. Ron Caragher, San Jose State – $525,000

Pac-12
1. Chris Petersen, Washington – $3.681 million
2. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona – $3.298 million
3. Jim Mora, UCLA – $3.25 million

9. Mark Helfrich, Oregon – $2 million
10. Sonny Dykes, California – $1.808 million
11. Mike Riley, Oregon State – $1.51 million

SEC
1. Nick Saban, Alabama – $7.16 million
2. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M – $5.006 million
3. Les Miles, LSU – $4.369 million

11. Butch Jones, Tennessee – $2.96 million
12. Will Muschamp, Florida* – $2.731 million
13. Mark Stoops, Kentucky – $2.701 million

Sun Belt
1. Mark Hudspeth, Louisiana-Lafayette – $1.003 million
2. Blake Anderson, Arkansas State – $700,000
3. Larry Blakeney, Troy* – $518,000

9. Doug Martin, New Mexico State – $377,000
10. Todd Berry, Louisiana-Monroe – $358,000
11. Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State – $225,000

* – will not return next season

Dave Clawson (Wake Forest), Bronco Mendenhall (BYU), Steve Sarkisian (USC), Steve Addazio (Boston College), Derek Mason (Vanderbilt), Scott Shafer (Syracuse) and Matt Rhule (Temple) did not report salary information.

As a companion piece, Steve Berkowitz had an interesting look at how schools avoid tax implications by buying coaches’ contracts instead of buying them out.

The assistant coaches’ salary database has not been updated yet, but we will let you know when it comes out as well.

 

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.