Sidelines with John Clay

USA Today survey of assistant coaches’ salaries offers interesting numbers

UK defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot talks to his linebackers prior to the start of the Kentucky-Louisville football game at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, KY on Saturday, November 28, 2015.
UK defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot talks to his linebackers prior to the start of the Kentucky-Louisville football game at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, KY on Saturday, November 28, 2015. Lexington Herald-Leader

USA Today has done a study of salaries for college football assistant coaches and found, not surprisingly, that in many cases it is not just the head coach that is making the big bucks.

Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, named head coach at South Carolina on Monday, was the highest paid assistant in the nation last season, making $1.6 million to lead a unit that ended up 90th in total defense.

Here are some other interesting notes from the study:

▪ The overall pay for Kentucky's assistant coaches ranked 30th nationally in 2015.

▪ The overall pay for Louisville's assistants ranked 13th nationally.

▪ Kentucky defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot ranked 50th among assistants in pay at $575,000.

▪ Kentucky offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson ranked 59th among assistants in pay at $550,000.

▪ Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham ranked sixth at $1.3 million.

▪ LSU's Cam Cameron was the nation's highest-paid offensive coordinator at $1.5 million, plus other income. Despite having Leonard Fournette, LSU ranked 52nd in total offense.

▪ The four highest-paid assistant coaches all came from the SEC. Behind Muschamp and Cameron were Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart at No. 3 and Texas A&M defensive coordinator John Chavis at No. 4.

▪ LSU had two of the top 10 highest-paid assistants. As well as Cameron at No. 2, defensive coordinator Kevin Steele came in at No. 9 thanks to his $1 million salary.

▪ The nation's 10 highest-paid staff of assistants were 1. LSU, 2. Auburn, 3. Alabama, 4. Georgia, 5. Texas A&M, 6. Clemson, 7. Florida State, 7. Michigan, 9. Ohio State and 10. South Carolina.

▪ Central Florida offensive coordinator Brent Key was the eighth-highest paid assistant in 2015, making $1.04 million. Key was paid $700,000 for not being named to succeed retiring head coach George O'Leary. Here's the kicker: Central Florida did not win a game in 2015.

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