The 10 Highest-Paid College Football Coaches from Best to Worst

jim beamContributor IIIAugust 26, 2011

The 10 Highest-Paid College Football Coaches from Best to Worst

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    College football coaching salaries are not getting any smaller. Just about every head coach at a major football program is making more money than their school's president, and for many coaches, each win is worth several hundred thousand dollars.

    What this list has done is rank the 10 highest-paid coaches (based on yearly salary) from best to worst. And if this ranking proves anything, it is that a big salary does not always mean that coach is a winner.

10. Jim Grobe: $2.9 Million Per Season

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    How Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe is making $2.9 million per year is anybody's guess.

    Grobe has an overall record of 62-60, highlighted by an ACC Championship in 2006. Wake Forest has been to four bowl games during his 10 seasons in Winston Salem.

    The Demon Deacons went 3-9 in 2010.

9. Lane Kiffin: $4 Million Per Season

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    No other coach in college football has been given more for doing less than Lane Kiffin.

    Kiffin coached one 7-6 season at Tennessee before USC lured him from Knoxville with a $4 million annual salary. Kiffin went 8-5 with the Trojans in 2010.

    He has spent a grand total of two seasons as a college head coach, making his salary perhaps the most baffling contract in the sport.

8. Mark Richt: $2.94 Million Per Season

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    Georgia coach Mark Richt's tenure has had its ups and downs, but his salary with the school has always been on the up.

    Richt's overall body of work has been rather impressive, going 96-34 with an SEC Championship in 2002 and two Sugar Bowl wins.

    The Bulldogs went 6-7 in 2010 and have not had a 10-win season since 2008. Many think a lackluster season 2011 will cost Richt his job.

    You can bet Richt will be crying all the way to the bank if UGA decides to fire him in the near future.

7. Bobby Petrino: $3.56 Million Per Season

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    Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino's $3.56 million per year contract is one of the many huge salaries in the SEC's coaching arms race.

    Although the Razorbacks have only gone 23-15 in three seasons under Petrino, the future is looking bright for the school coming off of a trip to the Sugar Bowl.

    Petrino was a winner at Louisville and appears to be turning the corner in Fayetteville.

    But the jury is still out on his contract until he can sustain any success.

6. Gene Chizik: $3.5 Million Per Season

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    $3.5 million per year is a big salary for a coach who has a career record of 27-24. But winning your school its first national championship in more than 50 years will get you a hefty pay raise.

    That is exactly what happened to Gene Chizik after guiding the Auburn Tigers to the national championship this past season.

    However, it is still too early to tell whether Chizik is worthy of his new contract.

    Last season could very well have been a fluke if Chizik has trouble contending during the post-Cam Newton era. Chizik only has four years of head coaching experience and was 11 games under .500 before 2010.

    Perhaps Auburn should have waited a few more seasons before they broke the bank with his contract.

5. Kirk Ferentz: $3.65 Million Per Season

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    The contract of Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz is another that draws a lukewarm reaction.

    Ferentz has won six bowl games and two Big Ten Championships in his 12 seasons at Iowa. He has also turned the school into one of the better "football factories" in the country as far as producing NFL talent.

    But there are plenty of shortcomings to go along with all of his success. The Hawkeyes have lost 60 games during his tenure in Iowa City, and have won 10 or more games in only four different seasons.

    For many years, Ferentz was a threat to bolt for the NFL, and Iowa felt that the only way to keep him was to make him the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten.

    Ferentz is a good coach, but not a great one, and probably not worth $3.65 million per season.

4. Les Miles: $3.75 Million Per Season

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    LSU coach Les Miles has done plenty to justify his $3.75 million per year salary. The Tigers have won a national championship, five bowl games and 62 games during his six seasons at the school.

    The Bayou Bengals are prepping for another big run in 2011, and Miles could get another pay raise if his team meets its high expectations.

3. Mack Brown: $5.16 Million Per Season

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    Texas coach Mack Brown suffered his only losing season with the school in 2010. But it is safe to assume that will be his last such season in Austin.

    Brown has won 133 games and a national championship since he began coaching at Texas. Before last year his teams had won 10 or more games in a season for nine straight years.

    Although his salary has faced opposition by some at the school, it is hard to argue that he is not worth his pay, considering the revenue his teams have brought to the university.

2. Bob Stoops: $4.30 Million Per Season

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    Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has upheld Oklahoma's winning tradition with 129 wins and one national championship during his 12 seasons in Norman.

    Believed by many to be an NFL coaching candidate throughout his tenure, Oklahoma should have no problem keeping him with his $4.3 million salary.

    Stoops, who is still relatively young at 50, has the Sooners poised for another national title run in 2011.


1. Nick Saban: $5.99 Million Per Season

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    Alabama coach Nick Saban already has a statue in Tuscaloosa, and the best way to keep this vagabond coach from leaving is to give him the highest salary in the sport.

    Saban has shown that he can win at any school, and he has proven to be worth his salary with 43 wins and a national championship in four seasons at Alabama.