College Football Coaches Salaries: What the Top 100 Make and Are They Worth It?

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College Football Coaches Salaries: What the Top 100 Make and Are They Worth It?
Eric Francis/Getty Images

In December of 2010 USA Today published a listing of salary information for 110 of the 120 FBS head football coaches. The data included compensation provided by each university, non university compensation and then a total bonus figure.

It is fascinating briefly look into what college football coaches are paid and discover the disparity between coaches at big schools (and big conferences) and those at smaller schools (in smaller conferences).

The gap between the highest paid coach in the country, Mack Brown of Texas ($5,100,000 per year solely in university compensation) and the lowest paid, Steve Roberts of Arkansas State (earning only $140,000 per year in university pay) is a startling $4,960,000.

But at the end of the day college football is all about winning games, isn’t it?

Following this line of thought, how much do institutions pay their coaches per win?  Yes, how much does the all important “W” cost in terms of the head coach’s salary?

The following slideshow uses the data mentioned above and, based on 2010’s total win mark for each team, calculates and then ranks each coach in terms of “Cost per Win”. This calculation is done based on “university compensation” only which is really “base pay” and does not include “non university compensation” or “bonuses” (which are each structured differently).

 We start with the “best value” coaches and finish at the top with the institutions that forked out the most cash and earned the most expensive wins (in terms of coaching) in 2010.

As a disclaimer, it must be noted that this information is in no way comprehensive.  First, not all the teams are included as some schools (mostly private, i.e. Boston College, BYU, Northwestern, Notre Dame, USC, Stanford, Syracuse, Tulane Vanderbilt, etc.) were not a part of the study as salary information could not be determined. Secondly, also left out of the mix are coaches who were either dismissed or resigned before the end of the 2010 season (i.e. Dan Hawkins, Tim Brewster, Dave Wannstedt, etc.).  

Lastly, in the world of wages and compensation it is never quite as simple as comparing “apples to apples."

Regardless, here’s the list, starting with No. 102 (the best bang for your buck in 2010) all the way to No. 1 (the most expensive per win coach in 2010).

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