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Report: Vandy, Florida, Texas ADs among highest paid

Raining Money

Need further confirmation that college athletics is big business? Of course not, but we’re here to provide you with it anyway.

The USA Today attempted to gather the salary data for all athletic directors whose schools competed in 1-A football. As you can imagine, some of the numbers are astonishing. Vanderbilt’s David Williams (pictured) leads all ADs with a total pay of just over $2.5 million. Just below Williams, but by a cool $1 million, was Florida AD Jeremy Foley (also pictured) at $1,545,250 in total pay. Tom Jurich (also also pictured) of Louisville was the third-highest paid AD with a total pay of $1,427,704.

In all, six ADs (with the available information) eclipsed the $1 million mark. You can see the entire chart HERE. The numbers have been broken down into the following categories:

  • University compensation, which consists of base salary and income from other contract provisions that are paid, or guaranteed, by the university or affiliated organizations.
  • Non-University compensation, which is everything else.
  • Maximum bonus for incentives such as win totals, bowl-game appearances, conference and/or national championships, etc.

Some other ADs of note include Texas’ DeLoss Dodds($1,095,756 total pay; $125,000 max bonus), Ohio State’s Gene Smith ($1,074,546 total pay; $250,000 max bonus), Notre Dame’s Jack Swarbrick ($932,232 total pay), Arkansas’ Jeff Long ($562,900 total pay; $450,000 max bonus) and West Virginia’s Oliver Luck ($405,600 total pay; $130,000 max bonus).

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12 Responses to “Report: Vandy, Florida, Texas ADs among highest paid”
  1. ndnut says: May 23, 2012 5:23 PM

    How does Vandy have the highest paid AD?

  2. hugheswb says: May 23, 2012 5:55 PM

    David Williams runs sport

  3. hugheswb says: May 23, 2012 6:02 PM

    David Williams runs sports at Vanderbilt but that doesn’t make him the AD. There is no athletics department at Vandy. David Williams is not only the Vice Chancellor of University Affairs and Athletics (where his sports responsibilities come from) but is also Vanderbilt’s General Counsel, a fully tenured law Professor, and university secretary for Vanderbilt and the Vanderbilt Medical Center.

    Also, not even $1M is salary and bonus. Most is deferred and retirement income.

    Lets praise Tom Weir of USA Today for doing actual journalism on topics such as this instead of just reading reports and drawing conclusions.

  4. iplaybad says: May 23, 2012 6:29 PM

    Oliver Luck’s son is going to make in one month what the elser Luck makes annually. Funny world.

  5. Deb says: May 23, 2012 7:32 PM

    How does a military school like the United States Naval Academy have an Athletic Director that comes in at #12 on this list? Why does Navy need an athletic director who makes more money than Michigan’s, UCLA’s, and Alabama’s?

  6. beedubyatoo says: May 23, 2012 7:42 PM

    Barry Alvarez is in the top 5.

  7. 35longmiles says: May 23, 2012 7:44 PM

    University of Miami Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst- 50 bucks

  8. drjem says: May 24, 2012 7:28 AM

    TO: Deb

    Hey Deb, don’t beat up on we military guys please. We (and that includes ALL student athletes at ALL Military Academies) “NEED” a good mentor just like the non military schools. Some of us will pay you back by going to combat for you & yours. We’re the good guys….not the bad guys. The AD’s at the academies deserve a good salary Deb, after all, they work long hours & even though we can’t compete with the likes of Alabama; we still give it the good old college try.

  9. overratedgators says: May 24, 2012 9:05 AM

    ndnut says:
    May 23, 2012 5:23 PM
    How does Vandy have the highest paid AD?


    They make up for it in savings by never having to fly the team to championship games.

  10. Deb says: May 24, 2012 12:55 PM

    @drjem …

    Oh good grief … how do you interpret question as beating up on the military? My dad’s a Navy vet, so you can stop that “we may go into combat for you bit.” If they want my tax money to pay combat troops, take it. If they want it to pay drill instructors who prepare combat troops for battle and increase their chances of staying alive, take it. But the athletic director at the U.S. Naval Academy isn’t going into combat and he isn’t a drill instructor. So I’d like to know why he’s the #12 highest paid AD on the list when Navy sure as heck isn’t competing at that level in sports.

    The defense department should be spending my money on the care and comfort of the troops who are already going to combat on my behalf–not on some AD in a cushy job at Annapolis.

  11. burntorangehorn says: May 24, 2012 5:55 PM

    Even though the cost of living is really high around Annapolis, that doesn’t account for why USNA AD Chet Gladchuk’s salary is twelfth in the nation.

    A few other people stand out. For as unprofitable as Wake Forest’s major sports are, their AD makes some dough.

    BTW, on the Texas AD: Dodds is just the AD for men’s sports, and has a base salary of $700K.The number USA Today says is his total university pay is 156% of his stated salary. Chris Plonsky is the women’s sports AD, earning a base salary of $266K. She also supplements work for the men’s athletic department, netting an extra salary of $90K, putting her at $356K before bonuses and such. If her actual university pay is also 156% of her salary, which doesn’t seem likely, then she would earn in the neighborhood of $571K.

  12. Deb says: May 24, 2012 6:46 PM

    @burntorangehorn …

    Thank you. I was just asking the question–and he’s not mentoring young men going into battle. If he were, I wouldn’t be questioning his pay. To me, that was just another example of a military bigwig getting big bucks while the troops have trouble making ends meet.

    I wondered about Wake Forest, too.

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