NCAA Football: Who are the highest paid college football coaches?
Nick Saban continues to hold the title of college football’s highest-paid coach for the fourth year in a row. Now, let’s delve into the full list of highest-paid college football coaches.
NFL makes big bucks. Everyone knows that. But what you may not know is that the highest-paid person wherever you live is almost certainly employed by the local college. Especially if you happen to live near a major state university.
In 27 of the 50 United States, the highest paid public employee in the state is a college football coach. That money may not be at NFL levels... yet. But it is still substantial. Kirby Smart’s contract was for $112.5 million, the highest overall value in college football, which shows how much the influence of money has impacted college sport.
What’s the money like in NCAA football?
Though College football does not boast of collective bargaining agreements and player associations, like the ones we see at the professional level, rest assured there is a ton of money involved. Indeed, the nation’s top coaches most definitely earn the same kind of money as some of their NFL counterparts.
That was never clearer than the summer’s contract signed by Georgia’s Kirby Smart. The ‘Bulldogs’ coach put pen to paper on a 10-year extension that made him the highest earning coach in the game’s history.
But when you look at an NCAA coach’s salary, just as when you look at an NFL athlete’s salary, there are many ways to skin a cat. There is overall value, average yearly value, buyout value, incentive clauses and any number of other elements to get your teeth into. Not to mention the dreaded Name, Image, and Likeness money that they can add on the side.
Who is the highest paid coach in college football?
With the new 10-year contract obsession that has made its way into college football, these differences can reshuffle the list in many different ways. Kirby Smart’s contract was for $112.5 million, the highest overall value. That record-setting amount was broken just a few months later when Clemson coach Dabo Swinney penned a contract with an overall value of $115 million.
For quite some time, USC’s Lincoln Riley set the benchmark with a contract that was reportedly worth around $10 million per season, although Alabama wunderkind Nick Saban sat just behind him with an AAV of $9.9 million per season. Saban signed his own contract extension at the end of August that was worth “only” $93.6 million, but as an eight-year deal, it gives him the an annual payment of $11.8 million, setting him atop the heap in that respect.
Top ten highest paid coaches in the NCAA
*Figures shown are estimates. Private institutions are not legally obligated to release employee salaries.*