Wondering what the average starting salary is for big time college football coaches? USA Today recently released their annual analysis of the salary levels, and bonuses for college football coaches at each of the major schools. Beyond just pay from the university, the article adds additional levels of pay and other bonuses that coaches acrue.
The average total salary of a D1 college football coach (in 2011) is $1.47 M
In the six conferences with automatic Bowl Championship Series bids, the average salary rose from $1.4 million in 2006 to $2.125 million in 2011. That’s a jump of about 52% — meaning salaries at schools in the other five major conferences are going up at roughly the same rate as they are at higher-profile schools.
Elite coaches like Steve Sarkisian at the University of Washington (pictured at right), hired to bring programs back to their glory days, can expect starting salaries well over $1,000,000. Their initial contract typically comes with substantial incentives for performance (not that they need any more incentive to win) and many coaches, like Coach Sarkisian, are able to renegotiate their contracts after a couple of seasons of success on the field. This is not average though, as many coaches aren’t able to turn around programs.
Private schools, like the Stanford or Vanderbilt, don’t have to make their coach’s salary levels public, and almost none of them do. Public universities like Washington and Texas must submit all of their financial statements to the state, which of course are then made public.
Which division 1 college football coach (at a public school) has the highest salary you may ask? The answer for college football fans is relatively obvious: Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown. His starting salary is at cool $5 million + per year.
Round out the top 5 highest college football coach starting salaries:
- Alabama’s Nick Saban
- Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops
- Louisiana State’s Les Miles
- Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz