You might want to sit down for this: college football head coaches continue to make a spitload of money.
As it does around this time every year, USA Today Tuesday released an updated version of its FBS coaches salaries database. The highest-paid? Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and his $9.32 million in total pay, overtaking Alabama’s Nick Saban, who was tops at $8.3 million in 2018 and now sits at No. 2 at $8.86 million.
At the opposite end of the financial spectrum is Coastal Carolina’s Jamey Chadwell, whose $360,000 in total compensation is the lowest salary of those obtained by USA Today. Compensation for coaches at eight universities — Air Force, Army, BYU, Liberty, Miami, Rice, SMU, Temple — wasn’t available.
Arguably the most improbable name in the Top 10 in compensation? Jeff Brohm at $6.6 million, ahead of the likes of Lincoln Riley of Oklahoma ($6.4 million), James Franklin of Penn State ($5.6 million) and David Shaw of Stanford ($4.6 million). Brohm, whose wooing by Louisville led to a hefty new contract, is 2-5 this season after going 13-13 his first two seasons with the Boilermakers.
Below are the highest-paid Power Five coaches, per conference:
- ACC — Swinney, $9.32 million
- Big 12 — Texas’ Tom Herman, $6.75 million
- Big Ten — Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, $7.5 million
- Pac-12 — Washington’s Chris Petersen, $4.63 million
- SEC — Saban, $8.86 million
Conversely, these are the lowest-paid Power Five coaches for each league:
- ACC — Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson, $2.19 million
- Big 12 — Kansas State’s Chris Klieman, $2.3 million
- Big Ten — Indiana’s Tom Allen, $1.8 million
- Pac-12 — Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin, $2 million
- SEC — Mississippi State’s Joe Moorhead, $3 million
At $5 million, USF’s Charlie Strong‘s total compensation is far and away the highest for a Group of Five coaches, with Houston’s Dana Holgorsen‘s $3.7 million the next closest.
Of the other four G5 leagues, North Texas’ Seth Littrell of Conference USA ($1.9 million), Toledo’s Jason Candle of the MAC ($1.2 million), Wyoming’s Craig Bohl of the Mountain West ($2.1 million) and Louisiana’s Billy Napier of the Sun Belt ($875,000) are the highest-paid for their respective conferences.
One final tidbit: The combined salaries of the coaches in the Sun Belt Conference ($6.5 million) is less than the compensation of eight individual head coaches — Swinney, Saban, Harbaugh, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher ($7.5 million), Georgia’s Kirby Smart ($6.9 million), Auburn’s Gus Malzahn ($6.8 million), Herman and Brohm. Swinney and Saban also make more individually than the MAC does combined ($7.8 million).