College Football Coach Salaries

Daily Free Picks


Subscribe to Jimmy Boyd's Free Picks

The best free picks delivered to your email every single day!


This article takes a look at how much each head coach in college makes on a yearly basis. We don’t just cover the guys at the top of the list. We go looking for the salaries on all 130 FBS teams.

Unfortunately, the private schools don’t have to make this information public. Unless it shows up on a tax document or the number gets leaked, we won’t know the exact numbers. I was able to find some credible sources for some of the private coaches, but not all of them.

All those I wasn’t able to find anything for, were thrown to the bottom of the list without a salary. They are not included in the conference averages.

Some contracts include incentives and bonuses beyond a base salary. If that compensation was not performance-based (e.g. coach receives a bonus for making a bowl game), we have included it in their compensation for the season. This gets us closest to the number the school is actually paying their coach. I’d also note that some of these numbers are the average compensation per year as only the total contract was disclosed.

NCAA College Football Head Coach Salary Breakdown

Dabo Swinney is now the highest-paid coach in the country. He’ll earn around the same on average as Saban over the next several years of their contracts, but he received additional pay this year due to a contract extension that included some additional incentives.

It’s hard to argue against Swinney and Saban being the highest-paid coaches. Clemson and Alabama have dominated the college football scene over the last decade.  Since 2009, either Alabama or Clemson have won the NCAA Championship game in all but two seasons, and they’ve matched up against each other three times. Swinney is 2-1 in those head-to-head matchups against Saban, so it isn’t shocking to see Clemson reward him with the biggest contract in college football history.

Ranking College Football Head Coaching Salaries for the 2023 Season

CoachSchoolConferenceEst. 2023 Compensation
Nick SabanAlabamaSEC$10,950,000
Dabo SwinneyClemsonACC$10,500,000
Kirby SmartGeorgiaSEC$10,250,000
Brian KellyLSUSEC$9,800,000
Mel TuckerMichigan St.Big Ten$9,500,000
Jimbo FisherTexas A&MSEC$9,000,000
Ryan DayOhio StateBig Ten$8,800,000
James FranklinPenn StateBig Ten$8,500,000
Jim HarbaughMichiganBig Ten$8,100,000
Mike GundyOklahoma StateBig 12$7,500,000
Billy NapierFloridaSEC$7,250,000
Lane KiffinOle MissSEC$7,250,000
Kirk FerentzIowaBig Ten$7,000,000
Brent VenablesOklahomaBig 12$7,000,000
Mike StoopsKentuckySEC$6,750,000
Sam PittmanArkansasSEC$6,000,000
Kyle WhittinghamUtahPac-12$6,000,000
Pat NarduzziPittACC$5,650,000
Chip KellyUCLAPac-12$5,600,000
Steve SarkisianTexasBig 12$5,400,000
Paul ChrystWisconsinBig Ten$5,250,000
Bryan HarsinAuburnSEC$5,100,000
Jeff BrohmPurdueBig Ten$5,100,000
Luke FickellCincinnatiAAC$5,050,000
Mack BrownNorth CarolinaACC$5,000,000
Josh HuepelTennesseeSEC$5,000,000
Dave DoerenNC StateACC$5,000,000
PJ FleckMinnesotaBig Ten$5,000,000
Dan LanningOregonPac-12$4,700,000
Mike NorvellFlorida StateACC$4,500,000
Tony ElliottVirginiaACC$4,450,000
Tom AllenIndianaBig Ten$4,300,000
Bret BielemaIllinoisBig Ten$4,300,000
Dana HolgorsenHoustonAAC$4,200,000
Justin WilcoxCalPac-12$4,200,000
Matt CampbellIowa StateBig 12$4,000,000
Neal BrownWest VirginiaBig 12$4,000,000
Mike LocksleyMarylandBig Ten$4,000,000
Greg SchianoRutgersBig Ten$4,000,000

Does knowing how much each coach make help you with your college football betting at all?  Probably not, but there have been plenty of guys who wanted to keep the boosters happy so put an emphasis on covering the spread.  Keeping boosters happy and earning a higher salary are probably related.

Check out how much coaches in other sports make: