Ducks, Inc.: Is Chip Kelly the most underpaid coach in college football?
In November USA Today reported @@link checked@@that the average annual salary of Football Bowl Subdivision coaches this year is $1.64 million, a 12 percent increase from the previous year and a 70 percent increase from 2006.
SEC coaches lead the pack with annual salaries of $5.62 million for Bama’s Nick Saban @@link checked@@and $3.751 million for LSU’s Les Miles. Both received extensions this year. Earlier this month, Miles turned down a $27.5 million @@link checked@@offer from the 2-6 Arkansas Razorbacks that would have equated to Saban’s $5.5 million. Obviously, LSU showed Miles the money in his contract extension and guaranteed salary raise. Wisconsin, however — set to play in their third-consecutive Rose Bowl — lost head coach Bret Bielema to Arkansas for a $19.2 million @@link checked@@contract over six years, which equates to $3.2 million a year.
Texas’ Mack Brown trails Saban at just over $5.4 million per year. Big-12 Champion and Oregon’s Fiesta Bowl counterpart, Kansas State, pays their coach Bill Snyder just $2.2 million @@link checked@@annually, but hey, at least his name’s on the stadium.
Chip Kelly’s contract is good through 2016 and guarantees him $3.5 million this year plus $50,000 in bonuses for making it to the Glendale. If he decides to stay and he doesn’t receive a raise and extension, his compensation will rise by $300,000 next year and again by $200,000 the next year — for an annual salary of $4 million in the final two years of his contract.
It’d be a safe bet that Oregon will be willing to shell out more cash for Kelly’s services if he decides to forgo the NFL. With four BCS games in as many seasons, a national championship appearance, three conference titles and a Walter Camp Coach of the Year award on top of a combined record of 45-7, he is quite possibly the most underpaid coach in college football.
The market drives the price, and it’s currently a seller’s market. We can only expect these trends to continue.
In comparison to the NFL, college football still lags behind, as it should. According to Forbes, the Patriots’ Bill Belichick @@link checked@@sits at the top making approximately $7.5 million per year, closely followed by Washington Redskin’s head coach Mike Shanahan @@link checked@@and former USC head coach now at the Seahawks, Pete Carroll.@@link checked@@
Jim Harbaugh, the other former Pac-12 coach making a splash in the NFL is estimated to receive a cushy $5 million per year @@link checked@@in San Francisco. That’s pretty good considering 2 years out of Stanford, and older brother John makes only about $4 million annually with the Ravens.@@link checked@@