College Football Coaches, Even Assistants, Make More Than School Presidents

Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban reacts after being dunked with Gatorade in the fourth quarter against the Clemson Tigers in the 2016 CFP National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The president of the University of Alabama should find his way down to the football field if he wants a raise.

Tosh Lupoi, Alabama’s linebacker coach and co-defensive coordinator, will make $950,000 this season. The school’s president, Stuart Bell, has a compensation package worth only $755,000, according to the Washington Post.

Even after a $400,000 raise from last year, Lupoi is only the fourth highest paid coach on the team.

Head coach Nick Saban is set to make just over $11 million this season, making him the highest-paid coach in college football. The runner-up is Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, who makes $9 million with a compensation package that includes a life insurance policy.

Saban makes more money than some professional coaches.

Bill Belichick, the coach of the NFL's New England Patriots, makes $7.5 million per year, according to SB Nation, and that’s after five Super Bowl titles.

The Patriots, by comparison, pull in much more money than Alabama. The Patriots netted $523 million in revenue for the 2015 season, according to Forbes, while Alabama’s entire athletic program brought in $100 million in 2015, according to Tuscaloosa News.

Alabama’s defensive coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt, makes $1.3 million and their offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, makes $1.2 million. Daboll was poached away from the Patriots earlier this year after serving as the tight ends coach.

Lupoi doesn’t quite clear $1 million, but Michigan has three assistant coaches that do. They became the first school that had three assistant coaches making $1 million or more. Last season, at least 12 assistant football coaches made $1 million or more, according to USA Today.

Legendary Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, who retired in 1986, always kept his salary at least $1 below the university president, according to the Washington Post. He liked the messaged that it sent.

In a 2014 survey of executive salaries at public universities, college coaches make up a majority of highest earners, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Of all the salaried employees that make $1 million per year or more, 70 percent of them were coaches, 20 percent of them were doctors and 10 percent of them were college presidents.

In 39 out of 50 states, the highest-paid public employees was a college coach in 2016, according to ESPN. Twenty-seven of them were football coaches and 12 of them were basketball coaches. The head coaches of last year's Final Four combined to make more in salary than all 50 governors combined.

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