Twenty-five college football coaches could make $3 million in 2014
- by Zach Barnett 5 months ago
News of Gary Pinkel's contract extension on Thursday was (obviously) big news for him - he was extended through 2020 and will make at least $3.1 million a year - but it was also potentially a landmark point for college football.
USA Today editor Steve Berkowitz, who knows more about college coaching salaries than anyone on the planet, tweeted this on Thursday:
With Gary Pinkel getting raise to $3.1M, there could be 25 FBS head coaches making $3M+ in 2014; there were 13 in '12, 9 in '11 and 1 in '06 — Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) March 6, 2014
That first coach to cross the $3 million threshold back in 2006? Oklahoma's Bob Stoops.
By 2011, Stoops had been joined by Mack Brown, Nick Saban, Les Miles, Kirk Ferentz, Bobby Petrino (at Arkansas), Gene Chizik (at Auburn), Brady Hoke and Will Muschamp. Mark Richt, Steve Spurrier and Chip Kelly couldn't crack the $3 million barrier. Kansas paid Turner Gill $2.1 million, only $100,000 below what Texas A&M paid Mike Sherman. And this was only three years ago.
A year later, Spurrier and Kelly were bumped into the club, along with newcomers Gary Patterson, Mike Gundy and Todd Graham, while new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer replaced the ousted Petrino. Richt was still a measly $55,000 shy of $3 million.
In 2013, the $3 million club included the following: Saban, Brown, Stoops, Meyer, Miles, Hoke, Ferentz, Bret Bielema, Butch Jones, Charlie Strong, Gundy, Spurrier, Mark Richt (finally!), Bill O'Brien, Tommy Tuberville, Patterson and Kevin Sumlin.
Brown and O'Brien have exited college football, but new hires James Franklin (Penn State), Chris Petersen (Washington), Bobby Petrino (Louisville) replaced them. Along with Pinkel, Jimbo Fisher, Art Briles, Dabo Swinney received raises to north of $3 million a year.
That's 22 coaches, and it doesn't include USC's Steve Sarkisian and UCLA's Jim Mora, both of whom signed new contracts that figure to be above $3 million a year. On top of that, scheduled raises and modest incentives could easily take Bo Pelini, Bill Snyder, Will Muschamp and Dan Mullen into the $3 million club.
In just eight short years, the ratio of coaches earning $3 million a year has reduced from roughly 1-in-120 to 1-in-5.