Surprise! Keeping 8/9ths of a BCS national championship-winning coaching staff together for three straight years -- a staff that includes likely the nation's hottest offensive coordinator -- gets really expensive!
OK, so it's no surprise for any college football fan who hasn't been living under a moon rock the past few seasons, as coaching salaries have skyrocketed in such a fashion that most skyrockets are jealous. But it's good news all the same for the assistant coaches at Auburn, who now make up what could be the nation's most highly-paid college football coaching staff.
According to the Birmingham News and salary information provided by USA Today, the new coaching salaries officially released by Auburn Monday make the Tiger collection of assistants the hands-down best-compensated at any U.S. public university. The only contender for "highest-paid staff in America" appears to be that of USC, which features reported $4 million man Lane Kiffin but as a private university has not officially divulged contract information for any of its coaches.
The details of the Auburn raises:
- Collectively, Auburn's assistants will earn $4,085,000, well ahead of the $3.6 million spent by second-place Texas.
- The aformentioned offensive coordinator, Gus Malzahn, is now officially the nation's highest-paid (public) assistant with a 160 percent raise to $1.3 million per year.
- Three other Tiger assistants will earn $400,000 or more: defensive coordinator Ted Roof ($500,000), wide receivers coach/assistant head coach Trooper Taylor ($425,000), and offensive line coach Jeff Grimes ($400,000).
- All together, the seven assistants retained from Gene Chizik's initial hires two years ago have received raises of 70 percent.
It's quite the outlay, though few Auburn fans -- after watching the staff in question take the Tigers from the embarrassment of the 36-0 defeat to Alabama that capped the 2008 season to last year's BCS title -- would say the staff hasn't earned every penny. Still, the huge bump in salary will no doubt create an equal bump in expectations, and with Auburn the least-experienced team in the FBS this fall, those are expectations the staff will have quite the challenge trying to meet.