Money likely wasn’t an overriding factor for Nick Saban, but it certainly couldn’t have hurt.
As you may have heard by now, Alabama announced Friday night that it had reached an agreement with Saban on a contract extension that ended rumors of a move to Austin. While the financial particulars were not released, various reports pegged the deal to be worth between $7 and $7.5 million a year.
As Saban’s previous yearly salary of just over $5.5 million served as the high-water mark for college football coaches, he merely stretched the gap between himself and the second highest-paid college coach — Texas’ Mack Brown at just over $5.4 million in 2013 — with the extension. The extension does, though, push him into the ranks of the highest-paid coach of any American sports team.
By way of al.com, and based on figures from Forbes.com, only New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton at $8 million annually would be clearly ahead of Saban’s reported future earnings. If the new contract is at the high-end of the reports, Saban would equal the likes of NFL head coaches Bill Belichick (New England Patriots, and Saban’s former boss) and Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs). If it’s at the low-end, Saban would equal the yearly earnings of three more NFL coaches – Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks), Jeff Fisher (St. Louis Rams) and Mike Shanahan (Washington Redskins) — as well as an NBA coach – Doc Rivers (Los Angeles Clippers).
In a slight oversight on the website’s part, Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski also made in the neighborhood of $7.2 million in 2013 according to USAToday.com.
Regardless of whether he’s (tied for) the second highest-paid coach in all of American sports or (tied for) the fifth highest-paid coach or somewhere in between, Saban’s success at Alabama plus the speculation surrounding UT’s interest served to make the head coach an even richer man in what he says will be the last coaching job of his career.