Success yields its rewards, particularly among salaries for the head football coaches and their assistants in the Southeastern Conference.
In analyzing the salaries of 11 of the 12 schools — Vanderbilt is a private university and does not provide those figures — the most successful league teams over the last 5-7 years also have the highest paid staffs.
LSU, which won a national championship in 2003, leads the league with a budget of $1.88 million for its nine assistant coaches. Auburn is right behind at $1.87 million.
Alabama hasn’t released figures for its newly hired staff, but Mike Shula’s staff earned just more than $1.5 million a year ago, and it’s believed that Nick Saban has a $2 million budget for his assistants, which would be the league high.
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Those numbers are a far cry from the bottom of the league where Mississippi State and South Carolina reside. Mississippi State and South Carolina each have a budget of $1.3 million for their assistant coaches.
Mississippi’s budget might be slightly higher after the contracts of three coaches – David Turner, Rockey Felker and Reed Stringer — are approved.
There are reasons for that discrepancy, competitiveness being chief among them. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said it’s based on several things.
"We don’t have too many high-priced assistants right now, but I hope to one day," Spurrier said. "It’s sort of based on performance and how much in demand that coach is. If a head coach is making $2 million, an offensive or defensive coordinator should be making a half-million themselves."
Kentucky moved up a couple of notches in the rankings after the administration handed out raises across the board. Kentucky had a budget of $1.3 million for its assistants but that jumped up to $1.5 million.