The Process outbids the Georgia Way.

And for once, I ain’t mad.  ‘Cause, if true, this is starting to border on crazy:

According to AL.com, Cochran, who has been at Alabama since 2007, received a contract extension this year through 2017 that raised his salary to $420,000 per year. He almost certainly isn’t staying at Alabama solely out of loyalty, so it’s reasonable to assume he will again see his salary increased once again.

Let’s say Cochran gets bumped up to $500,000 — and it could very well be more — that’s essentially what Georgia Southern coach Willie Fritz made this year after winning a Sun Belt championship in 2014. It would also put Cochran on par with some of the highest-paid head coaches in the Mid-American Conference, ahead of what Matt Campbell made this year at Toledo ($495,000), Dino Babers made at Bowling Green ($413,000) and Rod Carey made at Northern Illinois ($400,000).

The second-highest paid coach in the MAC is Ohio’s Frank Solich at $562,760 — all numbers from the USA TODAY Sports database — and it wouldn’t be surprising if Cochran’s salary was higher than that.

Strength coaches aren’t part of the nine full-time, on-field assistants and thus not subject to a number of NCAA contact rules. That also makes them incredibly important because they are allowed to organize and monitor off-season workouts and training sessions. They essentially run the program for a good portion of the spring and summer. There is a reason Alabama’s Derrick Henry mentioned Cochran so prominently in his Heisman Trophy speech Saturday.

Still, $500,000 and up for a strength coach? How soon until these guys all have agents and make $1 million in the SEC? This is new territory in college sports and illustrates the growing financial divide between the Power Five and the Group of Five.

And how soon until Jimmy Sexton argues that if you pay a strength coach half a mil, you’ve gotta be prepared to pay a coordinator four times that?

28 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

28 responses to “The Process outbids the Georgia Way.

  1. AusDawg85

    So here’s the crux of the debate that at least a few of us were able to reasonably discuss…did we stand a better chance at another SEC title within the next 3 years with the old regime or would B-M be willing to financially take on Alabama and go get top talent? The 3rd alternative also existed…is there just a better coach we can get than “he who shall no longer be named”? Option A is now gone. Option B is unlikely, but hopefully we’ll fall in between B and C, because Option C alone is just a wild crap-shoot.

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  2. JT (the other one)

    I am just thankful you are blogging again Senator…

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  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    Scott Cochran did his sports medicine training in East Germany.

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  4. Turd Ferguson

    Would’ve loved to have Cochran on staff, but I’m not yet convinced that he — or any other strength coach, for that matter — is really worth that kind of money.

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  5. A10Penny

    We blew it when we didn’t hire Shannon Turley last year. Maybe he’s still interested.

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    • Paint

      …and he applied but was not interviewed as I recall. Crazy. Hocke was Pruitt’s recommendation. Turley stayed at The Farm when Harbaugh pursued him for UM, but, yes, 100% agree with you. Reach out to him.

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  6. Debby Balcer

    Hocke trained under Cochran and started pound the G hopefully he is staying around.

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  7. Chadwick

    Yeah. I know some will cry that BM is being cheap, but Hocke could hire three guys to help “monitor” the off-season stuff for what Cochran would have cost. To my feeble mind that sounds like an appealing option. As Debby noted, Hocke is off the Cochran/Bama tree. I’d be surprised if he isn’t modeling UGA after his work at Bama. Now if they can get a Dr. Nick to start passing out the Adderal…..

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  8. TMC DAWG

    Welcome back senator. Hope you had a great trip!

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  9. Reipar

    I thought we were getting Kirby, bama qb coach as our oc and Cochran? I guess 1 for 3 is not bad.

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  10. dawgfan

    I’ve read that another year at Alabama qualifies Cochran for a pension in Alabama’s retirement system. That is a very big deal also and if it’s true I don’t blame him for staying.

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  11. Bard Parker

    Apparently he also needed another year as a state employee to be fully vested in the retirement system, another reason to stay.

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  12. KrautDawg

    Honestly, if this is true:

    “They essentially run the program for a good portion of the spring and summer.”

    … then I don’t see why paying a strength coach $500,000 is ridiculous.

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    • Minnesota Dawg

      That’s pretty much what I’m thinking.

      You can argue that all of these guys make too much money…but that bird has flown. Honestly, does a couple hundred thou that is apparently the cost of getting the nation’s acknowledged best vs. getting the mediocre too much money in the grand scheme of things? Doesn’t to me. Hell, the fact that Nick Saban was so damn desperate to keep him that he basically told the UA admin. to pay the man whatever to make it happen is sufficient evidence of Cochran’s importance and his role in Alabama’s successes.

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  13. HVL Dawg

    Alright Senator, I’ll comment on the subject at hand. If this isn’t another sign that the cash is totally out of hand, nothing is. A half million dollars would pay 100 players an extra $5,000 a year. Sure you’ve got to pay a strength coach. I’d say $150,000 a year should be about the top.

    This is all going to crash. And college football is never going to be the same.

    But have good cheer. We were fans during the halcyon days.

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  14. Gaskilldawg

    The only goal is a national championship. We have the money to pay him. If we choose not to we are accepting mediocrity.

    Pay him. Championships are the only thing that matters.

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  15. I believe the S&C is at least the 4th most important coach (HD > OC/DC > S&C) and possibly/arguably more important than one or both of the coordinators (especially if the HC is pretty much the OC or DC).

    As the Senator already noted, they get more time and contact with the players than any other coach.

    They impart the mentality and the character of the whole team upon the players.

    If the reason we failed to get Cochran is money, then we didn’t learn a goddamn thing from the CMR era.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      I understand why “when Kirby comes marching home again, hurrah, hurrah,” makes us excited. I want him to be the most successful coach in the history of sports. It concerns me, though, that we hired the guy who knows the best selling competitor’s secret recipe and then told him that the ingredients are too expensive.

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  16. VoxDawg

    My thoughts on the Cochran issue are all over the board. It would have been a major coup to have landed him, but the ship has sailed only for the 2016 season. If he and Kirby’s families are that tight, then the relationship will weather one season until he becomes fully-vested in the pension program to our left. Also, once he hits that point, I think we all agree that Saban likely isn’t long for his current position, especially if Bama wins another NC. That could free Cochran up, too.

    Finally, with Hocke being a protégé of Cochran, then Kirby knows the language that the Bama S&C guys speak. Your conditioning guy is going to give you exactly what the HC asks for, and I think Kirby knows Hocke well enough to order off the menu, or at least to rewrite the menu itself. Far more than CMR knew to do, at any rate.

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  17. Russ

    Insane. This is the sausage making part of college football that I don’t like.

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  18. W Cobb Dawg

    It would be a far better use of money than paying McGarity.

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