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Friday, Mar. 09, 2012

Auburn football: Brian VanGorder's salary matches Alabama's Kirby Smart as highest-paid defensive coordinator in nation

- jerickson@ledger-enquirer.com
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The contract Brian VanGorder signed to become Auburn’s new defensive coordinator ties him with Alabama’s Kirby Smart as the highest-paid defensive coordinator in the nation, according to the football program’s contracts Auburn released Thursday.

VanGorder signed a two-year contract with a base salary of $850,000 to become the highest-paid assistant on Gene Chizik’s newly constructed staff.

Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler signed a two-year contract worth $500,000 per year. Loeffler’s base pay replaces the $500,000 salary Ted Roof made as Auburn’s defensive coordinator last season.

Both coordinators get a $25,000 bonus for each season they complete.

Combined, the two new coordinators will make $1.35 million per year, only $50,000 more than former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn made as the nation’s highest-paid assistant coach last season.

With the new salaries, Auburn will save $450,000 this season on coaching contracts, although the Tigers likely still will have one of the highest-paid staffs in the country.

According to USA Today, Auburn paid its assistant coaches $4.2 million last year, more than any other program in the country.

“It’s a huge part of the puzzle,” Chizik said in December. “When you talk about paying assistants these days, if you’re going to go out and hire assistants that have proven themselves by their body of work, it’s about market value.”

New secondary coach Willie Martinez was signed for $255,000 per year, the same salary the man he replaced, Phillip Lolley, made last year.

Martinez, the former defensive coordinator for five seasons at Georgia, is now tied for the lowest salary on Auburn’s staff with special teams coordinator Jay Boulware, but he did receive a raise of $3,500 from his last stop as the secondary coach at Oklahoma.

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