Richard Pryor once famously joked that “cocaine is God’s way of telling you that you have too much money.” In the SEC, the proof of that is in coaching salaries.
… When Saban took over at Alabama in 2007, he was one of four college football coaches pulling down more than $3 million per season, joining then Florida coach Urban Meyer, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Texas’ Mack Brown as the highest paid coaches in the game.
Fast forward to 2011 and five SEC coaches — Saban, LSU’s Les Miles, Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino, Auburn’s Gene Chizik and Florida’s Will Muschamp — eclipsed the $3 million mark.
That’s not five in all of college football. That’s five in the SEC alone.
Four other league coaches — Georgia’s Mark Richt, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, now ex-Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen — earned more than $2.5 million in 2011.
While big ticket coaches dominate headlines, most striking, to me, at least, are the salaries of some of the league’s sub-.500 coaches.
At Tennessee, Derek Dooley has a base salary of $2.1 million per season. Meanwhile, Joker Phillips is clocking $1.7 million per at basketball-crazed Kentucky.
Both enter their third seasons on the job with identical 11-14 records.
By my count, every coach in the SEC West earned north of two and a half million dollars last season. It was a good division, but it wasn’t that good.