Highest-Paid College Football Coaches

The highest-paid college football coaches are led by the perennial power and all-time great, Nick Saban. 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 see staggering figures and come from all corners of the country.

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Highest-Paid College Football Coaches

The list below highlights the highest-paid college football coaches at the FBS level. The figures come from a USAToday study.

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 a private institute’s coach unless that contract has been made public.

1) Nick Saban, Alabama

Value: $11,407,000

Expand for details on Nick Saban’s contract and salary with the Alabama Crimson Tide.

2) Dabo Swinney, Clemson

Value: $10,884,775

Dabo Swinney signed a 10-year contract through 2031. Click here for full details on Swinney’s contract with the Clemson Tigers.

3) Kirby Smart, Georgia

Value: $10,705,600

For full details, find Kirby Smart’s contract, salary, and net worth at Georgia.

4) Ryan Day, Ohio State

Value: $10,271,250

Ryan Day’s contract at Ohio State includes a $9.5M base salary.

5) Mel Tucker, Michigan State

Value: $10,015,350*

Mel Tucker was fired with cause and the Michigan State Athletics Department found a way out his guaranteed contract. CFN went in-depth on both Tucker’s firing and his previous contract details.

6) Brian Kelly, LSU

Value: $9,975,000

Find full details here on Brian Kelly’s lucrative contract with the LSU Tigers.

7) Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M

Value: $9,150,000

Famously jettisoning FSU for Texas A&M, Jimbo Fisher’s contract details are quite unique.

8) Mark Stoops, Kentucky

Value: $9,013,600

Expand for details on Mark Stoops’ contract and salary at Kentucky.

T9) Josh Heupel, Tennessee

Value: $9,000,000

The contract and salary for Josh Heupel at Tennessee certainly are eye-opening.

T9) Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss

Value: $9,000,000

Lane Kiffin’s salary, contract, and net worth at Ole Miss are tied into success on the field.

11) James Franklin, Penn State

Value: $8,500,000

Find full details here on James Franklin’s contract with the Penn State Nittany Lions.

12) Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

Value: $8,254,600

Jim Harbaugh’s contract with the Michigan Wolverines has a unique fixed base salary.

T13) Luke Fickell, Wisconsin

Value: $7,625,000

Leaving Cincinnati for Wisconsin, Luke Fickell’s contract was surely a big reason for the jump.

T13) Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

Value: $7,625,000

The second-longest-tenured coach in major college football, Mike Gundy’s contract at Oklahoma State has certainly been earned.

15) Mike Norvell, Florida State

Value: $7,300,000

Over the past few seasons, Mike Norvell has certainly earned his contract at FSU.

16) Billy Napier, Florida

Value: $7,270,000

Billy Napier’s contract could be a big reason why he left Louisiana for the Swamp.

17) Brent Venables, Oklahoma

Value: $7,100,000

Find full details here on Brent Venables’ contract with the Oklahoma Sooners.

18) Kirk Ferentz, Iowa

Value: $7,000,000

An institute in the state of Iowa, Kirk Ferentz and his contract are the longest-tenured college football head coach.

19) Dan Lanning, Oregon

Value: $6,624,000

Expand for details on Dan Lanning’s contract and salary at Oregon.

T20) Hugh Freeze, Auburn

Value: $6,500,000

Jumping from Liberty to Auburn, Hugh Freeze’s contract with the Tigers certainly played a part.

T20) Bret Bielema, Illinois

Value: $6,500,000

Find full details here on Bret Bielema’s contract and salary at Illinois.

22) Sam Pittman, Arkansas

Value: $6,357,000

Turning the Arkansas program around, Sam Pittman’s contract indicates that success.

23) Kyle Whittingham, Utah

Value: $6,325,000

His continued success has certainly justified one of the longest-tenured coaches, Kyle Whittingham’s contract at Utah.

24) Shane Beamer, South Carolina

Value: $6,125,000

A college football family, Shame Beamer’s contract at South Carolina has proven worth it with the Gamecocks’ resurgence.

T25) Eliah Drinkwitz, Missouri

Value: $6,000,000

Eliah Drinkwtiz has built an impressive team on the Missouri coaching staff, and his turnaround has justified his contract.

T25) P.J. Fleck, Minnesota

Value: $6,000,000

A polarizing figure, P.J. Fleck’s contract indicates the type of success the Gophers have become used to seeing from Rowing The Boat.

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