Where Shane Beamer’s pay at South Carolina ranks among SEC head coach salaries

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Shane Beamer is one of the Southeastern Conference’s lowest-paid head coaches, according to USA Today’s coaching salary database that was published Thursday afternoon.

Beamer, who was hired in December to replace Will Muschamp, is earning $2.75 million in the first year of his contract, according to the compiled data. That salary ranked 13th among SEC head coaches in total pay — though Clark Lea was not included as Vanderbilt is a private school and not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban was the highest-paid coach in the league according to total pay at $9.5 million per year. Saban was followed by LSU’s Ed Orgeron ($9.01 million), Florida’s Dan Mullen ($7.57 million) Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher ($7.5 million) and Georgia’s Kirby Smart ($7.13 million).

South Carolina hired Beamer after needing to pay out Muschamp’s contract for almost $13 million following a settlement agreement.

USC also suffered major financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic that curbed donations and limited ticket revenues. Athletic director Ray Tanner told the South Carolina board of trustees in June that the athletic department projected a $46 million shortfall from the fiscal years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.

Among the coaches South Carolina kicked the tires on for its head football coach opening, Texas’ Steve Sarkisian ($5.45 million) and Louisville’s Scott Satterfield ($3.25 million) are the highest paid of the bunch this year, according to USA Today’s database.

Louisiana’s Billy Napier ($2 million), Coastal Carolina’s Jamey Chadwell ($871,250) and Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz ($779,000) all make less than Beamer’s total pay in 2021, while other USC interviewees Chris Rumph and Brian Johnson were not included on the list as neither are college head coaches.

Beamer is also the fourth lowest-paid coach of a Power Five team included in the database according to scheduled pay (Baylor’s Dave Aranda, Boston College’s Jeff Hafley, Miami’s Manny Diaz and Lea were not in the database). Only Arizona’s Jedd Fisch ($2.3 million), Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith ($2.5 million) and Maryland’s Mike Locksley ($2.71 million) are slated to make less this year.

Beamer is 3-3 and 0-3 in SEC play through six games this season. USC will kick off the back half of its campaign on Saturday when Vanderbilt visits Williams-Brice Stadium.

Next South Carolina football game

Who: South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt

When: 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16

Where: Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia

TV: SEC Network