College Football Coach Salaries

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 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 creditable 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 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. ┬áSince 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 2019 Season

CoachSchoolConferenceEst. 2019 Compensation
Dabo SwinneyClemsonACC$10,250,000
Nick SabanAlabamaSEC$8,700,000
Jim HarbaughMichiganBig Ten$7,504,000
Jimbo FisherTexas A&MSEC$7,500,000
Gus MalzahnAuburnSEC$6,705,656
Kirby SmartGeorgiaSEC$6,603,600
Dan MullenFloridaSEC$6,070,000
Tom HermanTexasBig 12$5,500,000
Scott FrostNebraskaBig Ten$5,000,000
Mike GundyOklahoma StateBig 12$5,000,000
Willie TaggartFlorida StateACC$5,000,000
Lovie SmithIllinoisBig Ten$5,000,000
Gary PattersonTexas ChristianBig 12$4,840,717
James FranklinPenn StateBig Ten$4,800,000
Lincoln RileyOklahomaBig 12$4,800,000
Kirk FerentzIowaBig Ten$4,700,000
Ryan DayOhio StateBig Ten$4,500,000
Mark DantonioMichigan StateBig Ten$4,390,417
Chris PetersenWashingtonPac-12$4,377,500
David ShawStanfordPac-12$4,311,543
Will MuschampSouth CarolinaSEC$4,200,000
Mark StoopsKentuckySEC$4,013,600
Justin FuenteVirginia TechACC$4,000,000
Jeremy PruittTennesseeSEC$3,846,000
Jeff BrohmPurdueBig Ten$3,800,000
Kyle WhittinghamUtahPac-12$3,787,917
Paul ChrystWisconsinBig Ten$3,750,000
Kliff KingsburyTexas TechBig 12$3,703,975
Pat FitzgeraldNorthwesternBig Ten$3,619,775
Bronco MendenhallVirginiaACC$3,550,000
P.J. FleckMinnesotaBig Ten$3,550,000
Chad MorrisArkansasSEC$3,500,000
Ed OrgeronLSUSEC$3,500,000
Matt CampbellIowa StateBig 12$3,500,000
Mike LeachWashington StatePac-12$3,500,000
Chris KliemanKansas StateBig 12$3,500,000
Mack BrownNorth CarolinaACC$3,500,000
Chip KellyUCLAPac-12$3,300,000
Geoff CollinsGeorgia TechACC$3,300,000
Scott SatterfieldLouisvilleACC$3,250,000
Neal BrownWest VirginiaBig 12$3,125,000
Manny DiazMiami (Fla.)ACC$3,100,000
Pat NarduzziPittsburghACC$3,017,718
Dave DoerenNorth Carolina StateACC$3,000,000
Matt LukeMississippiSEC$3,000,000
Derek MasonVanderbiltSEC$2,812,523
Les MilesKansasBig 12$2,775,000
Clay HeltonUSCPac-12$2,625,965
Mike NorvellMemphisAAC$2,600,000
Joe MoorheadMississippi StateSEC$2,600,000
David CutcliffeDukeACC$2,540,928
Steve AddazioBoston CollegeACC$2,514,859
Mario CristobalOregonPac-12$2,500,000
Mike LocksleyMarylandBig Ten$2,500,000
Dino BabersSyracuseACC$2,401,206
Mel TuckerColoradoPac-12$2,400,000
Barry OdomMissouriSEC$2,350,000
Chris AshRutgersBig Ten$2,200,000
Ken NiumataloloNavyAAC$2,163,000
Brian KellyNotre DameInd.$2,129,638
Luke FickellCincinnatiAAC$2,000,000
Kevin SumlinArizonaPac-12$2,000,000
Herm EdwardsArizona StatePac-12$2,000,000
Rod CareyTempleAAC$2,000,000
Sonny DykesSouthern MethodistAAC$2,000,000
Jonathan SmithOregon StatePac-12$1,900,008
Dave ClawsonWake ForestACC$1,831,580
Tom AllenIndianaBig Ten$1,830,000
Mike BoboColorado StateMt. West$1,800,000
Major ApplewhiteHoustonAAC$1,750,000
Josh HeupelCentral FloridaAAC$1,700,000
Bryan HarsinBoise StateMt. West$1,650,010
Willie FritzTulaneAAC$1,629,000
Jeff TedfordFresno StateMt. West$1,550,000
Philip MontgomeryTulsaAAC$1,518,177
Justin WilcoxCaliforniaPac-12$1,500,000
Hugh FreezeLibertyInd.$1,500,000
Seth LittrellNorth TexasC-USA$1,425,000
Craig BohlWyomingMt. West$1,412,000
Mike HoustonEast CarolinaAAC$1,300,000
Jason CandleToledoMAC$1,125,000
Frank WilsonTexas-San AntonioC-USA$1,100,000
Randy EdsallConnecticutAAC$1,100,000
Lane KiffinFlorida AtlanticC-USA$1,000,000
Charlie StrongSouth FloridaAAC$1,000,000
Matt RhuleBaylorBig 12$1,000,000
Mike BloomgrenRiceC-USA$1,000,000
Butch DavisFlorida InternationalC-USA$945,000
Bill ClarkUABC-USA$900,000
Rocky LongSan Diego StateMt. West$873,576
Billy NapierLouisiana-LafayetteSun Belt$850,000
Blake AndersonArkansas StateSun Belt$825,000
Bob DavieNew MexicoMt. West$823,740
Rick StockstillMiddle TennesseeC-USA$803,004
Tim LesterWestern MichiganMAC$800,000
Tyson HeltonWestern KentuckyC-USA$800,000
Jake SpavitalTexas StateSun Belt$800,000
Doc HollidayMarshallC-USA$762,570
Eliah DrinkwitzAppalachian StateSun Belt$750,000
Skip HoltzLouisiana TechC-USA$700,000
Dana DimelTexas-El PasoC-USA$700,000
Will HealyCharlotteC-USA$700,000
Bobby WilderOld DominionC-USA$654,667
Chad LunsfordGeorgia SouthernSun Belt$650,000
Jim McElwainCentral MichiganMAC$640,900
Walt BellMassachusettsInd.$625,000
Steve CampbellSouth AlabamaSun Belt$600,000
Tony SanchezUNLVMt. West$600,000
Brent BrennanSan Jose StateMt. West$590,424
Frank SolichOhioMAC$580,331
Shawn ElliottGeorgia StateSun Belt$569,000
Chuck MartinMiami (Ohio)MAC$524,826
Jay HopsonSouthern MississippiC-USA$500,000
Jay NorvellNevadaMt. West$500,000
Thomas HammockNorthern IllinoisMAC$500,000
Scot LoefflerBowling GreenMAC$500,000
Tom ArthAkronMAC$500,000
Nick RolovichHawaiiMt. West$486,504
Chris CreightonEastern MichiganMAC$460,000
Lance LeipoldBuffaloMAC$455,500
Sean LewisKent StateMAC$440,000
Mike NeuBall StateMAC$435,689
Doug MartinNew Mexico StateInd.$419,640
Matt ViatorLouisiana-MonroeSun Belt$390,000
Jamey ChadwellCoastal CarolinaSun Belt$350,000
Gary AndersonUtah StateMt. West
Chip LindseyTroySun Belt
Troy CalhounAir ForceMt. West
Kalani SitakeBrigham YoungInd.
Jeff MonkenArmyInd.

Average Salary by Conference

Coaches in the SEC are the most well-compensated in the nation, but the other major conferences are not that far behind, especially when you consider the SEC average is inflated with Saban and Swinney earning over $1 million more than the third-highest paid coach.

ConferenceAverage Salary
SEC$4,671,527.07
Big Ten$4,082,585.14
Big 12$4,018,144.56
ACC$3,698,557.43
Pac-12$2,890,119.42
AAC$1,656,267.70
Mt. West$1,016,932.18
Ind.$999,139.75
C-USA$840,083.92
Sun Belt$650,650.00
MAC$579,961.17

Check out coaches in other sports: