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Two of three million-dollar assistant coaches reside in SEC

Chad Morris, Tajh Boyd AP

While much of the coaching discussion regarding contracts this week has centered on a potential bidding war for Nick Saban between Alabama and Texas, keep in mind assistant coaches are getting some pretty decent paychecks as well.

Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris is the highest paid assistant coach in college football. Clemson’s assistant coach is earning $1,309,650 in 2013 according to a recent database compiled by USA Today. Two other assistant coaches are making seven digits as well.

Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart ($1.15 million) and LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis ($1.116 million). Of the top ten highest paid assistant coaches, five reside in the SEC. Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, and Texas A&M’s Mark Snyder are among the top ten highest paid assistant coaches.

Clemson is paying top dollar for their coaching staff. In addition to Morris, the Tigers are also shelling out a reported $800,000 for defensive coordinator Brent Venables. Clemson’s investment in the coaching staff has not come without a plan. The Tigers made a clear investment in their staff to keep the program in a competitive footing in the ACC and as a national championship contender. Over the last three seasons Clemson has won an ACC championship, won a Chick-fil-A Bowl against LSU and is heading back to the BCS to play Ohio State in the Orange Bowl.

Michigan is also paying big bucks for their assistant coaches, with defensive coordinator Greg Mattison ($851,400) and offensive coordinator Al Borges ($709,300) each falling in the top ten.

So, which school is getting the most bang for their buck among the highest paid assistants? Michigan seems to be tanking dollars considering the amount they are paying their top two assistant coaches.

You can view the entire database via USA Today.

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11 Responses to “Two of three million-dollar assistant coaches reside in SEC”
  1. Deb says: Dec 11, 2013 8:14 PM

    I don’t have a problem with people being paid commensurate with the revenues they generate. As long as coaches–and in the pros, players–are generating billions of dollars for their institutions or team owners, they should be well-compensated. My only issue is with CEOs who are paid 400 times what the average worker makes–even when their company’s are flatlining.

  2. mianfr says: Dec 11, 2013 8:22 PM

    I think Dabo Swinney took serious reductions to his own pay to give more to his assistants. I heard this a while ago, so I’m not sure if it’s still true, but I’d guess Dabo isn’t as close to the top of the coaching salary as his assistants are.

  3. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 11, 2013 9:23 PM

    If Mark Synder is one of the highest paid assistants in the country, that is money poorly spent.

    I probably could have done better…. doubt I would have done much worse…

  4. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Dec 11, 2013 9:26 PM

    You mean unranked Michigan?

  5. thefiesty1 says: Dec 11, 2013 9:31 PM

    Not bad for a guy that was a high school coach just a few years ago at Lake Travis High School.

  6. fsu01 says: Dec 11, 2013 10:46 PM

    I guess FSU will have to open up its pocket book on Pruitt if the Saban to Texas rumors have any validity at all. Because Smart could be in line for the Alabama job and will probably want to bring Pruitt back there as DC.

  7. v2the4 says: Dec 12, 2013 9:48 AM

    the fiesty1

    these former Texas high school coaches are making a killing in college football…on the high school level, there is a bigtime uproar over coaches making $90k plus, but some of these guys have been at their schools for years, sell out the stadiums and make deep runs into the playoffs like Katy’s Gary Joseph, Euless Trinity Steve Lineweaver.

    current Arizona St coach Todd Graham was the head coach at Allen high school in the late 90’s and made $70k….dude is clearing $3Million now

    current Baylor head coach Art Briles was the coach at Stephenville High and made $75k in his highest year and won 4 state 4A titles…in less than 5 years after his last title, he was making $750k at Houston, then hit the jackpot with Baylor, where he is making $3M now

    Chad Morris won state titles at Bay City and Lake Travis(with Garret Gilbert) and will soon get his shot at a head coaching job where he will be “in the money” too.

    guess I missed my calling being an energy trader instead of a coach

  8. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 12, 2013 9:49 AM

    ^^^That’s a good question though… if Saban leaves, do the Tide promote from within? Or do they go get a big name.

    If I’m Bama and you really lose Saban to the Tsips, I’d go get Dantonio.

    He’s shown the ability to be able to stop a very high powered offense, which seems to be the new norm in the SEC. Pair him with a Chad Morris at OC and Bama could be right back at the top without skipping a beat…

  9. jimmy53 says: Dec 12, 2013 10:57 AM


    Pruitt might get a bump, but it won’t be as much as think. His next job is as an HC, probably after next season. He won’t make a lateral move, especially for a defensive coach who will take all the credit (a la’ Saban).

  10. dmvtransplant says: Dec 12, 2013 11:03 AM

    Clemson is paying 800K for a guy that let 70-33 happen in the Orange Bowl, great investment. In other news UCONN hired the DC that let Bama hang 42 on the Irish in the BCS NCG.

    With his NFL background I’m surprised Cam Cameron wasn’t mentioned?

  11. dhardy8207 says: Dec 12, 2013 1:54 PM

    Kirby Smart is worth EVERY penny BAMA pays him and he will probably get a raise after the post season bowl game….

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