Compared to Joe Six-Pack, Joe Paterno is a very well-paid individual.
Compared to his contemporaries at the Div. 1-A level? Yeah, not so much. Still.
According to both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and thanks to Pennsylvania’s expanded Right-to-Know Law, the legendary Penn State coach’s total compensation for 2009 was $1,022,794. That total is just over $87,000 less than what he had earned the previous year.
And it also places Coach Paterno very much in the middle of the pack when it comes to the other 119 Div. 1-A coaches.
USA Today’s coaches salaries database puts Paterno’s total compensation for 2010 — 2009 was the most recent tax information released by Penn State to the papers Friday — at $1,109,977. By our count, there are 54 coaches who made more than Coach Paterno’s $1.1 million in 2010, and that doesn’t even include 10 mostly private schools — including USC (Lane Kiffin) and Notre Dame (Brian Kelly) — for which compensation information wasn’t available.
For in-state comparison sakes, first-year Pittsburgh head coach Todd Graham will reportedly average in the neighborhood of $2 million a year during his five-year deal with the Panthers.
So what does all of this mean? I have no clue, other than Penn State better enjoy getting a helluva bargain because they likely won’t be able to do the same when it comes time to hire a replacement. Based on the 84-year-old’s history, however, that could be five, 10 years down the road, so the university may have plenty of time to continue pinching and/or saving their pennies for a successor.