SBD/December 8, 2010/Collegiate Sports

Gridiron Gold: Nearly Half Of FBS Head Coaches Earn At Least $1M

Saban (r) Will Earn Almost $6M In Total Compensation This Year
At least 59 of the 120 FBS head football coaches "make $1 million or more annually plus bonuses," but the national average salary of $1.36M is "essentially the same as last season's," according to an examination of coaches' salaries by Wieberg, Berkowitz & Upton of USA TODAY. While the average salary is up 35% from the initial examination in '06, this marks the first time an increase has not been shown, a "possible reflection of the tough economy and struggles across higher education amid cuts in state appropriations and shrinking endowments." The lack of salary growth "also might be a product of circumstance." Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made $4.5M last year when he was at USC, and "other coaching changes at Florida State, Texas Tech and East Carolina came with significant drops in annual salary guarantees." Alabama coach Nick Saban "will hit almost $6 million this season, including a one-time payment of more than $530,000," while Texas coach Mack Brown "is a guaranteed $5 million dollar man." Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, Stanford's Jim Harbaugh and USC's Lane Kiffin are "almost certainly" making more than $1M, but their "compensation doesn't appear on their schools' latest available tax returns." USA Today in partnership with the National Sports Law Institute of Marquette Univ. Law School "obtained contracts or other documents showing compensation for all but 10" of the 120 FBS coaches. The following lists the FBS college football coaches who are making $2M or more this season in total compensation among schools who responded to the study (, 12/8).

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