Ah, what to do with the torrent of broadcast money flowing into college football in the age of amateurism?
I think we know the answer to that.
The linked article is a hoot… unless you’re a strength coach’s agent, in which case it’s manna from heaven in terms of planting the awareness in the heads of every P5 athletic director in the country that everybody gets to make bank these days.
Iowa’s Chris Doyle is the highest-paid strength coach in the country, with a base annual pay of $625,000. That is the same salary Iowa pays to its offensive and defensive coordinators. Alabama’s Scott Cochran had his base pay bumped from $420,000 in 2015 to $525,000 this fall after a high-profile dalliance with rival Georgia; much a like an assistant coach, Cochran saw his salary rise due to outside interest.
Doyle, Marotti and Cochran each are paid more than 17 public school head coaches in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Five strength coaches — Doyle, Marotti, Cochran, UCLA’s Sal Alosi and South Carolina’s Jeff Dillman — are making at least $400,000 annually. Six — the aforementioned quintet plus Oklahoma State’s Rob Glass — make more than two FBS head coaches: Louisiana Monroe’s Matt Viator and New Mexico State’s Doug Martin.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s America and people should make whatever the market will bear. But this is a perfect example of the kind of market distortions you get when you combine lots of money, an artificially inexpensive labor base and athletic directors who have to kowtow to what their boosters and coaches think is appropriate.
The fun will come in trying to predict where the next bubble comes. My money’s on recruiting directors.
By the way, if you really want some indication of how vast the money flow is these days, check out USA Today’s chart on assistant pay and guess where Georgia ranks among all the schools in the country. Given B-M’s reputation for frugality, combined with the absence of chest-thumping and/or fretting about handing out those kind of bucks — remember the days when Richt had to come out of his own pocket to pay bonuses to his staff? — that’s pretty remarkable stuff.