Highest-Paid College Football Coaches

    The highest-paid college football coaches are led by the two-time National Champion and driver of the bus in Athens, Kirby Smart. Who else cracks the list?

    College football coaches are tasked with a 365-day-a-year job, managing every aspect of their program, from recruiting to on-field success and so much more. As such, they’re compensated for their roles in building their institute of higher learning’s biggest money-making sport (for the most part) justly.

    The list of the highest-paid college football coaches shows staggering figures and comes from all corners of the country.

    List of Highest-Paid College Football Coaches

    The list below highlights the highest-paid college football coaches at the FBS level. The figures come from individual contract studies of each head coach in major college football.

    While mostly accurate, it should be noted that public schools are required to disclose their figures in some capacity, but private institutes (think Notre Dame) are not. You will likely not see 100% confirmed details of a private institute’s coach unless that contract has been made public.

    Note: Below will be each of the head coaches listed. Click the head coach for an expanded view of the contract associated with their respective school.

    1) Kirby Smart, Georgia: $13,000,000

    2) Dabo Swinney, Clemson: $11,500,000

    3) Ryan Day, Ohio State: $10,200,000

    4) Kalen DeBoer, Alabama: $10,000,000

    4) Mike Norvell, Florida State: $10,000,000

    4) Lincoln Riley, USC: $10,000,000

    7) Brian Kelly, LSU: $9,500,000

    8) Matt Rhule, Nebraska: $9,000,000

    8) Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss: $9,000,000

    8) Josh Heupel, Tennessee: $9,000,000

    11) Mark Stoops, Kentucky: $8,600,000

    12) Mario Cristobal, Miami (FL): $8,000,000

    13) Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State: $7,625,000

    14) Jedd Fisch, Washington: $7,500,000

    15) Billy Napier, Florida: $7,400,000

    16) Brent Venables, Oklahoma: $7,250,000

    17) Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: $7,000,000

    17) Dan Lanning, Oregon: $7,000,000

    17) James Franklin, Penn State: $7,000,000

    17) Mike Elko, Texas A&M: $7,000,000

    21) Hugh Freeze, Auburn: $6,500,000

    22) Shane Beamer, South Carolina: $6,360,000

    23) Eli Drinkwitz, Missouri: $6,250,000

    24) Greg Schiano, Rutgers: $6,250,000

    25) Kyle Whittingham, Utah: $6,200,000

    26) Bret Bielema, Illinois: $6,000,000

    26) Jonathan Smith, Michigan State: $6,000,000

    26) P.J. Fleck, Minnesota: $6,000,000

    29) Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh: $5,800,000

    30) Steve Sarkisian, Texas: $5,600,000

    31) Deion Sanders, Colorado: $5,500,000

    31) Chris Klieman, Kansas State: $5,500,000

    31) Sherrone Moore, Michigan: $5,500,000

    34) Jeff Brohm, Louisville: $5,100,000

    35) Sam Pittman, Arkansas: $5,000,000

    35) Bill O’Brien, Boston College: $5,000,000

    35) Lance Leipold, Kansas: $5,000,000

    35) Dave Doeren, NC State: $5,000,000

    35) Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame: $5,000,000

    35) Sonny Dykes, TCU: $5,000,000

    35) Luke Fickell, Wisconsin: $5,000,000

    42) Justin Wilcox, California: $4,750,000

    43) Jeff Lebby, Mississippi State: $4,500,000

    43) Troy Taylor, Stanford: $4,500,000

    45) Tony Elliott, Virginia: $4,240,000

    46) Joey McGuire, Texas Tech: $4,100,000

    47) Ryan Walters, Purdue: $4,050,000

    48) Matt Campbell, Iowa State: $4,000,000

    48) Jamey Chadwell, Liberty: $4,000,000

    48) Mike Locksley, Maryland: $4,000,000

    48) Brent Pry, Virginia Tech: $4,000,000

    48) Neal Brown, West Virginia: $4,000,000

    53) Kenny Dillingham, Arizona State: $3,950,000

    54) Dave Aranda, Baylor: $3,800,000

    55) Manny Diaz, Duke: $3,700,000

    56) Dave Clawson, Wake Forest: $3,610,000

    57) Scott Satterfield, Cincinnati: $3,500,000

    57) Curt Cignetti, Indiana: $3,500,000

    57) Mack Brown, North Carolina: $3,500,000

    57) Rhett Lashlee, SMU: $3,500,000

    57) Fran Brown, Syracuse: $3,500,000

    62) Clark Lea, Vanderbilt: $3,051,881

    63) Kalani Sitake, BYU: $3,000,000

    63) DeShaun Foster, UCLA: $3,000,000

    65) Brent Key, Georgia Tech: $2,800,000

    66) Jeff Traylor, UTSA: $2,800,000

    67) Jake Dickert, Washington State: $2,728,900

    68) Alex Golesh, South Florida: $2,500,000

    68) Stan Drayton, Temple: $2,500,000

    70) Mike Houston, East Carolina: $2,300,000

    70) Gus Malzahn, UCF: $2,300,000

    72) Brent Brennan, Arizona: $2,200,000

    73) Jeff Monken, Army: $2,100,000

    74) Willie Fritz, Houston: $2,000,000

    74) Trent Bray, Oregon State: $2,000,000

    74) Jon Sumrall, Tulane: $2,000,000

    77) Ryan Silverfield, Memphis: $1,915,000

    78) Kevin Wilson, Tulsa: $1,900,000

    79) Sean Lewis, San Diego State: $1,750,000

    79) Barry Odom, UNLV: $1,750,000

    81) Troy Calhoun, Air Force: $1,700,000

    81) Jay Norvell, Colorado State: $1,700,000

    83) Jeff Tedford, Fresno State: $1,500,000

    83) Jim Mora Jr., UConn: $1,500,000

    85) Blake Anderson, Utah State: $1,375,000

    86) Trent Dilfer, UAB: $1,300,000

    87) Bronco Mendenhall, New Mexico: $1,200,000

    87) Eric Morris, North Texas: $1,200,000

    89) Spencer Danielson, Boise State: $1,100,000

    89) Jason Candle, Toledo: $1,100,000

    89) Jay Sawvel, Wyoming: $1,100,000

    92) Jeff Choate, Nevada: $1,050,000

    93) Jim McElwain, Central Michigan: $1,029,120

    94) Biff Poggi, Charlotte: $1,000,000

    94) Tim Beck, Coastal Carolina: $1,000,000

    94) Tom Herman, Florida Atlantic: $1,000,000

    94) Derek Mason, Middle Tennessee: $1,000,000

    94) G.J. Kinne, Texas State: $1,000,000

    99) Shawn Clark, Appalachian State: $950,020

    100) Sonny Cumbie, Louisiana Tech: $950,000

    101) Mike Bloomgren, Rice: $904,044

    102) Dell McGee, Georgia State: $900,000

    102) Gerard Parker, Troy: $900,000

    102) Tyson Helton, Western Kentucky: $900,000

    105) Lance Taylor, Western Michigan: $850,000

    106) Butch Jones, Arkansas State: $825,000

    106) Major Applewhite, South Alabama: $825,000

    106) Scotty Walden, UTEP: $825,000

    109) Will Hall, Southern Miss: $824,000

    110) Clay Helton, Georgia Southern: $800,000

    110) Rich Rodriguez, Jacksonville State: $800,000

    112) Ricky Rhane, Old Dominion: $775,000

    113) Michael Desormeaux, Louisiana: $755,000

    113) Charles Huff, Marshall: $755,000

    115) Mike MacIntyre, FIU: $750,000

    116) Timmy Chang, Hawaii: $700,008

    117) Tim Albin, Ohio: $700,000

    117) Don Brown, UMass: $700,000

    119) Mike Neu, Ball State: $680,000

    120) Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois: $677,000

    121) Joe Moorhead, Akron: $620,000

    122) Brian Newberry, Navy: $600,000

    122) Tony Sanchez, New Mexico State: $600,000

    122) K.C. Keeler, Sam Houston: $600,000

    125) Scot Loeffler, Bowling Green: $580,000

    126) Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan: $550,000

    126) Bob Chesney, James Madison: $550,000

    126) Chuck Martin, Miami (OH): $550,000

    129) Kenni Burns, Kent State: $525,000

    130) Pete Lembo, Buffalo: $500,000

    131) Brian Bohannon, Kennesaw State: $390,550

    132) Bryant Vincent, UL-Monroe: $350,000

    tbd) David Braun, Northwestern: undetermined

    tbd) Ken Niumatalolo, San Jose State: undetermined

    Highest-Paid ACC College Football Coaches

    1) Dabo Swinney, Clemson: $11,500,000

    2) Mike Norvell, Florida State: $10,000,000

    3) Mario Cristobal, Miami (FL): $8,000,000

    4) Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh: $5,800,000

    5) Jeff Brohm, Louisville: $5,100,000

    6) Bill O’Brien, Boston College: $5,000,000

    6) Dave Doeren, NC State: $5,000,000

    8) Justin Wilcox, California: $4,750,000

    9) Troy Taylor, Stanford: $4,500,000

    10) Tony Elliott, Virginia: $4,240,000

    11) Brent Pry, Virginia Tech: $4,000,000

    12) Manny Diaz, Duke: $3,700,000

    13) Dave Clawson, Wake Forest: $3,610,000

    14) Mack Brown, North Carolina: $3,500,000

    14) Rhett Lashlee, SMU: $3,500,000

    14) Fran Brown, Syracuse: $3,500,000

    17) Brent Key, Georgia Tech: $2,800,000

    Highest-Paid Big Ten College Football Coaches

    1) Ryan Day, Ohio State: $10,200,000

    2) Lincoln Riley, USC: $10,000,000

    3) Matt Rhule, Nebraska: $9,000,000

    4) Jedd Fisch, Washington: $7,500,000

    5) Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: $7,000,000

    5) Dan Lanning, Oregon: $7,000,000

    5) James Franklin, Penn State: $7,000,000

    8) Greg Schiano, Rutgers: $6,250,000

    9) Bret Bielema, Illinois: $6,000,000

    9) Jonathan Smith, Michigan State: $6,000,000

    9) P.J. Fleck, Minnesota: $6,000,000

    12) Sherrone Moore, Michigan: $5,500,000

    13) Luke Fickell, Wisconsin: $5,000,000

    14) Ryan Walters, Purdue: $4,050,000

    15) Mike Locksley, Maryland: $4,000,000

    16) Curt Cignetti, Indiana: $3,500,000

    17) DeShaun Foster, UCLA: $3,000,000

    tbd) David Braun, Northwestern: undetermined

    Highest-Paid Big 12 College Football Coaches

    1) Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State: $7,625,000

    2) Kyle Whittingham, Utah: $6,200,000

    3) Deion Sanders, Colorado: $5,500,000

    3) Chris Klieman, Kansas State: $5,500,000

    5) Lance Leipold, Kansas: $5,000,000

    5) Sonny Dykes, TCU: $5,000,000

    7) Joey McGuire, Texas Tech: $4,100,000

    8) Matt Campbell, Iowa State: $4,000,000

    8) Neal Brown, West Virginia: $4,000,000

    10) Kenny Dillingham, Arizona State: $3,950,000

    11) Dave Aranda, Baylor: $3,800,000

    12) Scott Satterfield, Cincinnati: $3,500,000

    13) Kalani Sitake, BYU: $3,000,000

    14) Gus Malzahn, UCF: $2,300,000

    15) Brent Brennan, Arizona: $2,200,000

    16) Willie Fritz, Houston: $2,000,000

    Highest-Paid Pac-12 College Football Coaches

    1) Jake Dickert, Washington State: $2,728,900

    2) Trent Bray, Oregon State: $2,000,000

    Highest-Paid SEC College Football Coaches

    1) Kirby Smart, Georgia: $13,000,000

    2) Kalen DeBoer, Alabama: $10,000,000

    3) Brian Kelly, LSU: $9,500,000

    4) Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss: $9,000,000

    4) Josh Heupel, Tennessee: $9,000,000

    6) Mark Stoops, Kentucky: $8,600,000

    7) Billy Napier, Florida: $7,400,000

    8) Brent Venables, Oklahoma: $7,250,000

    9) Mike Elko, Texas A&M: $7,000,000

    10) Hugh Freeze, Auburn: $6,500,000

    11) Shane Beamer, South Carolina: $6,360,000

    12) Eli Drinkwitz, Missouri: $6,250,000

    13) Steve Sarkisian, Texas: $5,600,000

    14) Sam Pittman, Arkansas: $5,000,000

    15) Jeff Lebby, Mississippi State: $4,500,000

    16) Clark Lea, Vanderbilt: $3,051,881

    Highest-Paid American Athletic Conference College Football Coaches

    1) Jeff Traylor, UTSA: $2,800,000

    2) Alex Golesh, South Florida: $2,500,000

    3) Stan Drayton, Temple: $2,500,000

    4) Mike Houston, East Carolina: $2,300,000

    5) Jeff Monken, Army: $2,100,000

    6) Jon Sumrall, Tulane: $2,000,000

    7) Ryan Silverfield, Memphis: $1,915,000

    8) Kevin Wilson, Tulsa: $1,900,000

    9) Trent Dilfer, UAB: $1,300,000

    10) Eric Morris, North Texas: $1,200,000

    11) Biff Poggi, Charlotte: $1,000,000

    12) Tom Herman, Florida Atlantic: $1,000,000

    13) Mike Bloomgren, Rice: $904,044

    14) Brian Newberry, Navy: $600,000

    Highest-Paid Conference USA College Football Coaches

    1) Jamey Chadwell, Liberty: $4,000,000

    2) Derek Mason, Middle Tennessee: $1,000,000

    3) Sonny Cumbie, La Tech: $950,000

    4) Tyson Helton, Western Kentucky: $900,000

    5) Scotty Walden, UTEP: $825,000

    6) Rich Rodriguez, Jacksonville State: $800,000

    7) Mike MacIntyre, FIU: $750,000

    8) Tony Sanchez, New Mexico State: $600,000

    9) K.C. Keeler, Sam Houston: $600,000

    10) Brian Bohannon, Kennesaw State: $390,550

    Highest-Paid MAC College Football Coaches

    1) Jason Candle, Toledo: $1,100,000

    2) Jim McElwain, Central Michigan: $1,029,120

    3) Lance Taylor, Western Michigan: $850,000

    4) Tim Albin, Ohio: $700,000

    5) Mike Neu, Ball State: $680,000

    6) Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois: $677,000

    7) Joe Moorhead, Akron: $620,000

    8) Scot Loeffler, Bowling Green: $580,000

    9) Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan: $550,000

    10) Chuck Martin, Miami (OH): $550,000

    11) Kenni Burns, Kent State: $525,000

    12) Pete Lembo, Buffalo: $500,000

    Highest-Paid Mountain West College Football Coaches

    1) Sean Lewis, San Diego State: $1,750,000

    2) Barry Odom, UNLV: $1,750,000

    3) Troy Calhoun, Air Force: $1,700,000

    4) Jay Norvell, Colorado State: $1,700,000

    5) Jeff Tedford, Fresno State: $1,500,000

    6) Blake Anderson, Utah State: $1,375,000

    7) Bronco Mendenhall, New Mexico: $1,200,000

    8) Spencer Danielson, Boise State: $1,100,000

    9) Jay Sawvel, Wyoming: $1,100,000

    10) Jeff Choate, Nevada: $1,050,000

    11) Timmy Chang, Hawaii: $700,008

    tbd) Ken Niumatalolo, San Jose State: undetermined

    Highest-Paid Sun Belt College Football Coaches

    1) Tim Beck, Coastal Carolina: $1,000,000

    2) G.J. Kinne, Texas State: $1,000,000

    3) Shawn Clark, Appalachian State: $950,020

    4) Dell McGee, Georgia State: $900,000

    5) Gerard Parker, Troy: $900,000

    6) Butch Jones, Arkansas State: $825,000

    7) Major Applewhite, South Alabama: $825,000

    8) Will Hall, Southern Miss: $824,000

    9) Clay Helton, Georgia Southern: $800,000

    10) Ricky Rhane, Old Dominion: $775,000

    11) Michael Desormeaux, Louisiana: $755,000

    12) Charles Huff, Marshall: $755,000

    13) Bob Chesney, James Madison: $550,000

    14) Bryant Vincent, UL-Monroe: $350,000

    Highest-Paid Independent College Football Coaches

    1) Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame: $5,000,000

    2) Jim Mora Jr., UConn: $1,500,000

    3) Don Brown, UMass: $700,000

    Highest-Paid College Football Coaches In Each State

    Listed below are the top-paid college football coaches in each state with multiple major college football programs inside its state borders. States like Connecticut, where only UConn represents the state at the FBS level, will not be listed,

    Alabama

    1) Kalen DeBoer, Alabama: $10,000,000
    2) Hugh Freeze, Auburn: $6,500,000
    3) Trent Dilfer, UAB: $1,300,000
    4) Gerard Parker, Troy: $900,000
    5) Major Applewhite, South Alabama: $825,000
    6) Rich Rodriguez, Jacksonville State: $800,000

    Arizona

    1) Kenny Dillingham, Arizona State: $3,950,000
    2) Brent Brennan, Arizona: $2,200,000

    Arkansas

    1) Sam Pittman, Arkansas: $5,000,000
    2) Butch Jones, Arkansas State: $825,000

    California

    1) Lincoln Riley, USC: $10,000,000
    2) Justin Wilcox, California: $4,750,000
    3) Troy Taylor, Stanford: $4,500,000
    4) DeShaun Foster, UCLA: $3,000,000
    5) Sean Lewis, San Diego State: $1,750,000
    6) Jeff Tedford, Fresno State: $1,500,000
    tbd) Ken Niumatalolo, San Jose State: undetermined

    Colorado

    1) Deion Sanders, Colorado: $5,500,000
    2) Troy Calhoun, Air Force: $1,700,000
    3) Jay Norvell, Colorado State: $1,700,000

    Florida

    1) Mike Norvell, Florida State: $10,000,000
    2) Mario Cristobal, Miami (FL): $8,000,000
    3) Billy Napier, Florida: $7,400,000
    4) Alex Golesh, South Florida: $2,500,000
    5) Gus Malzahn, UCF: $2,300,000
    6) Tom Herman, Florida Atlantic: $1,000,000
    7) Mike MacIntyre, FIU: $750,000

    Georgia

    1) Kirby Smart, Georgia: $13,000,000
    2) Brent Key, Georgia Tech: $2,800,000
    3) Dell McGee, Georgia State: $900,000
    4) Clay Helton, Georgia Southern: $800,000
    5) Brian Bohannon, Kennesaw State: $390,550

    Illinois

    1) Bret Bielema, Illinois: $6,000,000
    2) Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois: $677,000
    tbd) David Braun, Northwestern: undetermined

    Indiana

    1) Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame: $5,000,000
    2) Ryan Walters, Purdue: $4,050,000
    3) Curt Cignetti, Indiana: $3,500,000
    4) Mike Neu, Ball State: $680,000

    Iowa

    1) Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: $7,000,000
    2) Matt Campbell, Iowa State: $4,000,000

    Kansas

    1) Chris Klieman, Kansas State: $5,500,000
    2) Lance Leipold, Kansas: $5,000,000

    Kentucky

    1) Mark Stoops, Kentucky: $8,600,000
    2) Jeff Brohm, Louisville: $5,100,000
    3) Tyson Helton, Western Kentucky: $9,00,000

    Louisiana

    1) Brian Kelly, LSU: $9,500,000
    2) Jon Sumrall, Tulane: $2,000,000
    3) Sonny Cumbie, Louisiana Tech: $950,000
    4) Michael Desormeaux, Louisiana: $755,000
    5) Bryant Vincent, UL-Monroe: $350,000

    Maryland

    1) Mike Locksley, Maryland: $4,000,000
    2) Brian Newberry, Navy: $600,000

    Massachusetts

    1) Bill O’Brien, Boston College: $5,000,000
    2) Don Brown, UMass: $700,000

    Michigan

    1) Jonathan Smith, Michigan State: $6,000,000
    2) Sherrone Moore, Michigan: $5,500,000
    3) Jim McElwain, Central Michigan: $1,029,120
    4) Lance Taylor, Western Michigan: $850,000
    5) Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan: $550,000

    Mississippi

    1) Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss: $9,000,000
    2) Jeff Lebby, Mississippi State: $4,500,000
    3) Will Hall, Southern Miss: $824,000

    Nevada

    1) Barry Odom, UNLV: $1,750,000
    2) Jeff Choate, Nevada: $1,050,000

    New Mexico

    1) Bronco Mendenhall, New Mexico: $1,200,000
    2) Tony Sanchez, New Mexico State: $600,000

    New York

    1) Fran Brown, Syracuse: $3,500,000
    2) Jeff Monken, Army: $2,100,000
    3) Pete Lembo, Buffalo: $500,000

    North Carolina

    1) Dave Doeren, NC State: $5,000,000
    2) Manny Diaz, Duke: $3,700,000
    3) Dave Clawson, Wake Forest: $3,610,000
    4) Mack Brown, North Carolina: $3,500,000
    5) Mike Houston, East Carolina: $2,300,000
    6) Biff Poggi, Charlotte: $1,000,000
    7) Shawn Clark, Appalachian State: $950,020

    Ohio

    1) Ryan Day, Ohio State: $10,200,000
    2) Scott Satterfield, Cincinnati: $3,500,000
    3) Jason Candle, Toledo: $1,100,000
    4) Tim Albin, Ohio: $700,000
    5) Joe Moorhead, Akron: $620,000
    6) Scot Loeffler, Bowling Green: $580,000
    7) Chuck Martin, Miami (OH): $550,000
    8) Kenni Burns, Kent State: $525,000

    Oklahoma

    1) Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State: $7,625,000
    2) Brent Venables, Oklahoma: $7,250,000
    3) Kevin Wilson, Tulsa: $1,900,000

    Oregon

    1) Dan Lanning, Oregon: $7,000,000
    2) Trent Bray, Oregon State: $2,000,000

    Pennsylvania

    1) James Franklin, Penn State: $7,000,000
    2) Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh: $5,800,000
    3) Stan Drayton, Temple: $2,500,000

    South Carolina

    1) Dabo Swinney, Clemson: $11,500,000
    2) Shane Beamer, South Carolina: $6,360,000
    3) Tim Beck, Coastal Carolina: $1,000,000

    Tennessee

    1) Josh Heupel, Tennessee: $9,000,000
    2) Clark Lea, Vanderbilt: $3,051,881
    3) Ryan Silverfield, Memphis: $1,915,000
    4) Derek Mason, Middle Tennessee: $1,000,000

    Texas

    1) Mike Elko, Texas A&M: $7,000,000
    2) Steve Sarkisian, Texas: $5,600,000
    3) Sonny Dykes, TCU: $5,000,000
    4) Joey McGuire, Texas Tech: $4,100,000
    5) Dave Aranda, Baylor: $3,800,000
    6) Rhett Lashlee, SMU: $3,500,000
    7) Jeff Traylor, UTSA: $2,800,000
    8) Willie Fritz, Houston: $2,000,000
    9) Eric Morris, North Texas: $1,200,000
    10) G.J. Kinne, Texas State: $1,000,000
    11) Mike Bloomgren, Rice: $904,044
    12) Scotty Walden, UTEP: $825,000
    13) K.C. Keeler, Sam Houston: $600,000

    Utah

    1) Kyle Whittingham, Utah: $6,200,000
    2) Kalani Sitake, BYU: $3,000,000
    3) Blake Anderson, Utah State: $1,375,000

    Virginia

    1) Tony Elliott, Virginia: $4,240,000
    2) Jamey Chadwell, Liberty: $4,000,000
    2) Brent Pry, Virginia Tech: $4,000,000
    4) Ricky Rhane, Old Dominion: $775,000
    5) Bob Chesney, James Madison: $550,000

    Washington

    1) Jedd Fisch, Washington: $7,500,000
    2) Jake Dickert, Washington State: $2,728,900

    West Virginia

    1) Neal Brown, West Virginia: $4,000,000
    2) Charles Huff, Marshall: $755,000

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