Highest Paid College Football Coaches

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. That includes the likes of Troy Calhoun (Air Force), Mark Richt (Miami), Clay Helton (USC), Jeff Monken (Army), Dino Barbers (Syracuse), Kalani Sitake (BYU), Geoff Collins (Temple), Matt Rhule (Baylor), and Willie Fritz (Tulane).

NCAA Football Head Coach Salary Breakdown

As you can see, the top dog on the list is none other than Alabama’s Nick Saban. He’s scheduled to bring in a staggering $11.132 million in 2018.

It’s Hard to say he’s not worth it. He’s got a 119-19 record in his 10 years with the Crimson Tide, and that with a mere 7-6 mark in his first season on the job. Since that sub-par finish, Alabama has won a minimum of 10 games each year. They have finished in the Top 10 in 9 consecutive seasons and have won 4 national championships (1 runner-up).

The only one even close to Saban is Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, who just happens to be the only coach to defeat Saban and the Crimson Tide in a national championship game (2016).

Ranking College Football Head Coaching Salaries for 2018 Season

CoachSchoolConferenceBase Salary
Nick SabanAlabamaSEC$11,132,000
Dabo SwinneyClemsonACC$8,504,600
Jim HarbaughMichiganBig Ten$7,004,000
Urban MeyerOhio StateBig Ten$6,431,240
Rich RodriguezArizonaPac-12$5,631,563
Jimbo FisherFlorida StateACC$5,700,000
David ShawStanfordPac-12$5,680,441
Tom HermanTexasBig 12$5,486,316
Gary PattersonTexas ChristianBig 12$5,104,077
Kevin SumlinTexas A&MSEC$5,000,000
Gus MalzahnAuburnSEC$4,725,000
James FranklinPenn StateBig Ten$4,600,000
Kirk FerentzIowaBig Ten$4,550,000
Dan MullenMississippi StateSEC$4,500,000
Jim McElwainFloridaSEC$4,457,400
Mark DantonioMichigan StateBig Ten$4,380,492
Bret BielemaArkansasSEC$4,200,000
Mike GundyOklahoma StateBig 12$4,200,000
Chris PetersenWashingtonPac-12$4,125,000
Butch JonesTennesseeSEC$4,110,000
Bobby PetrinoLouisvilleACC$3,930,434
Mark StoopsKentuckySEC$3,750,000
Kirby SmartGeorgiaSEC$3,753,600
Kyle WhittinghamUtahPac-12$3,687,917
Jim MoraUCLAPac-12$3,550,000
Dana HolgorsenWest VirginiaBig 12$3,505,000
Kliff KingsburyTexas TechBig 12$3,503,975
P.J. FleckMinnesotaBig Ten$3,500,000
Ed OrgeronLSUSEC$3,500,000
Bronco MendenhallVirginiaACC$3,400,000
Jeff BrohmPurdueBig Ten$3,333,333
Pat FitzgeraldNorthwesternBig Ten$3,305,818
Justin FuenteVirginia TechACC$3,250,000
Todd GrahamArizona StatePac-12$3,200,000
Bill SnyderKansas StateBig 12$3,200,000
Paul ChrystWisconsinBig Ten$3,200,000
Will MuschampSouth CarolinaSEC$3,100,000
Mike LeachWashington StatePac-12$3,075,000
Lovie SmithIllinoisBig Ten$3,000,000
Paul JohnsonGeorgia TechACC$2,970,891
Willie TaggartOregonPac-12$2,900,000
Mike RileyNebraskaBig Ten$2,900,000
Mike MacIntyreColoradoPac-12$2,803,500
Derek MasonVanderbiltSEC$2,721,834
Gary AndersenOregon StatePac-12$2,650,000
David CutcliffeDukeACC$2,613,638
DJ DurkinMarylandBig Ten$2,462,000
Steve AddazioBoston CollegeACC$2,448,949
Barry OdomMissouriSEC$2,350,000
Larry FedoraNorth CarolinaACC$2,290,000
Dave DoerenNorth Carolina StateACC$2,212,600
Lincoln RileyOklahomaBig 12$2,116,666
Chris AshRutgersBig Ten$2,100,000
Matt CampbellIowa StateBig 12$2,100,000
Chad MorrisSouthern MethodistAAC$2,095,793
Ken NiumataloloNavyAAC$2,000,000
Scott FrostCentral FloridaAAC$2,000,000
Luke FickellCincinnatiAAC$1,900,000
Mike NorvellMemphisAAC$1,860,000
Tom AllenIndependentianaBig Ten$1,830,000
Pat NarduzziPittsburghACC$1,827,735
Dave ClawsonWake ForestACC$1,827,370
Major ApplewhiteHoustonAAC$1,750,000
Brian KellyNotre DameIndependent$1,645,867
David BeatyKansasBig 12$1,601,109
Justin WilcoxCaliforniaPac-12$1,600,000
Bryan HarsinBoise StateMWC$1,550,004
Jeff TedfordFresno StateMWC$1,550,000
Mike BoboColorado StateMWC$1,550,000
Craig BohlWyomingMWC$1,412,000
Philip MontgomeryTulsaAAC$1,398,038
Matt LukeMississippiSEC$1,160,000
Mark HudspethLouisiana-LafayetteSun Belt$1,150,000
Frank WilsonTexas-San AntonioC-USA$1,137,500
Scottie MontgomeryEast CarolinaAAC$1,050,000
Matt WellsUtah StateMWC$1,050,000
Charlie StrongSouth FloridaAAC$1,000,000
Randy EdsallConnecticutAAC$1,000,000
Seth LittrellNorth TexasC-USA$991,416
Lane KiffinFlorida AtlanticC-USA$950,000
Butch DavisFlorida InternationalC-USA$900,000
Rocky LongSan Diego StateMWC$826,304
Bob DavieNew MexicoMWC$822,690
Rick StockstillMiddle TennesseeC-USA$801,504
Tim LesterWestern MichiganMAC$800,000
Mike Sanford Jr.Western KentuckyC-USA$800,000
Neal BrownTroySun Belt$800,000
David BailiffRiceC-USA$772,883
Doc HollidayMarshallC-USA$762,570
Blake AndersonArkansas StateSun Belt$750,000
Skip HoltzLouisiana TechC-USA$700,000
Jason CandleToledoMAC$700,000
Scott SatterfieldAppalachian StateSun Belt$675,000
Everett WithersTexas StateSun Belt$675,000
Bobby WilderOld DominionC-USA$650,000
Bill ClarkAlabama at BirminghamC-USA$630,000
Brad LambertCharlotteC-USA$625,000
Rod CareyNorthern IllinoisMAC$623,000
Tony SanchezNevada-Las VegasMWC$600,000
Brent BrennanSan Jose StateMWC$581,916
Joey JonesSouth AlabamaSun Belt$535,260
Shawn ElliottGeorgia StateSun Belt$565,000
John BonamegoCentral MichiganMAC$545,640
Tyson SummersGeorgia SouthernSun Belt$530,000
Frank SolichOhioMAC$522,715
Chuck MartinMiami (Ohio)MAC$522,300
Sean KuglerTexas-El PasoC-USA$515,332
Jay HopsonSouthern MississippiC-USA$500,000
Mark WhippleMassachusettsIndependent$472,654
Jay NorvellNevadaMWC$450,000
Paul PetrinoIdahoSun Belt$446,214
Chris CreightonEastern MichiganMAC$442,420
Mike NeuBall StateMAC$431,375
Mike JinksBowling GreenMAC$428,655
Paul HaynesKent StateMAC$414,030
Terry BowdenAkronMAC$411,000
Lance LeipoldBuffaloMAC$405,500
Nick RolovichHawaiiMWC$400,008
Joe MogliaCoastal CarolinaSun Belt$400,000
Matt ViatorLouisiana-MonroeSun Belt$390,000
Doug MartinNew Mexico StateSun Belt$376,044
Troy CalhounAir ForceMWC
Mark RichtMiami (Fla.)ACC
Clay HeltonSouthern CaliforniaPac-12
Jeff MonkenArmyIndependent
Dino BabersSyracuseACC
Kalani SitakeBrigham YoungIndependent
Geoff CollinsTempleAAC
Matt RhuleBaylorBig 12
Willie FritzTulaneAAC

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 earning over $2.5 million more than the second highest paid coach.

ConferenceAverage Base Salary
SEC$4,175,702.43
Big Ten$3,756,920.21
Pac-12$3,536,674.64
Big 12$3,424,127.00
ACC$3,414,684.75
AAC$1,605,383.10
Independent$1,059,260.50
MWC$981,174.73
C-USA$766,871.79
Sun Belt$607,709.83
MAC$520,552.92

Check out coaches in other sports: