2018 USA Today Assistant Salary Database

Today the USA Today Assistant Salary Database came out. Some overall observations: the ACC is at a major disadvantage to other P5 conferences in terms of money. Only 2 assistant makes more than a million while 19 other assistants make more than 1 million. Tech's total assistant pay is 3,685,000 which is around 30th in the nation * that's with Wake, ND, Syracuse, Stanford, Pitt, NW, Miami, Duke and PSU not reporting .

When people talk about hiring bigger named coaches or splash hires this is one of the reasons it doesn't happen.
http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/football/assistant

Name Position Years at Tech Salary
Bud Foster DC 32 975,000
Brad Cornelson OC 3 490,000
James Shibest ST/TE 3 445,000
Vance Vice OL 3 280,000
Zohn Burden RB 4 280,000
Brian Mitchell CB 3 280,000
Holman Wiggins WR 3 280,000
Charley Wiles DL 23 280,000
Tyrone Nix S 1 200,000
Adam Lechtenberg AHC 1 175,000

[Mod Edit: Fix table HTML.]

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Holman Wiggins WR 3 280,000 Devante Smith DB RFR 3 Charley Wiles DL 23 280,000

Devante Smith is coaching DB's????

Also, Charley Wiles is underpaid.

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I copied a previous table to do this one.

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Also, Charley Wiles is underpaid.

That's an understatement. His salary is downright criminal when compared with Shibest.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

I think Shibest is our 2nd best assistant behind Foster, and I think Wiles might be third. Not sure what the market rate for a DL coach with 25 or so years experience is, but when comparing to others on our staff, Wiles should be definitely be making an extra $100k.

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Did we get a bundled, inflated, or fair price for Vice, Cornelson, Shibest, and Wiggins when they were brought over from Memphis with Fuente?

I'm going to say it was pretty much a package deal, and I'm still feeling pretty good about it, even with this year's results.

Cornelson is way overpaid

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Sure let's pay the OC outside the top 50 assistants makes total sense.

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I don't think he's saying we shouldn't pay that much for a OC. But what I do think he's saying is that cornelson gets way too much relative to his colleagues and our offense, which he's getting paid to orchestrate, isn't good enough to justify the discrepancy. I tend to agree.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

100% agree. I don't know why anyone would disagree.

I don't know why anyone would disagree.

Er. Well. There's Hokie Fireman. I guess.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

He makes less than Uva's Anae.

Any other questions?

You guys need to compare his salary to other OC's - he is not that highly paid when you compare him to the top tier.

Seems like you're just getting hung up on the number because it is so large compared to regular job salaries.

And I'm saying he already underpaid for an OC so lowering his pay relative to his peers makes even less sense.
Tech's asssitants budget is around 35th in the nation. It's awful, and I imagine next year with Purdue giving raises, UNC new staff and Louisville new staff it will drop further.

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The emphasis is on cornelson not being worth the money. I think everyone here can probably agree that VT should have deeper pockets for assistant coaches. We'd all like to see VT be able to pay competitive salaries for competent coaches.

But the joke, which you've apparently missed (or ignored, perhaps because you disagree with the premise) is that cornelson sucks and shouldn't be paid that much money for the product on the field.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

I'm saying he is not being paid at the level you would expect a coach who has helped lead the team to 23 wins in 3 seasons to be. His salary ranks at 147 of listed assistant salaries so realistically he is somewhere in the 150's among his peers. So I'd say his pay is just about right for the output this year and too low for output his first two seasons, you know where multiple Tech records were set.

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Okay, last time Fireman.

But the joke, which you've apparently missed (or ignored, perhaps because you disagree with the premise) is that cornelson sucks and shouldn't be paid that much money for the product on the field.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Jokes should be funny it's not funny.

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The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Yes your right let's just keep going after the coaches and ignore the funding. I'm sure it will all work out in the end, Tots and Pears work best I hear.

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This ain't it, chief.

It's evidently funny to some people. You don't find it funny. That's fine. But the least you could do is recognize it's a joke and let it go. You can disagree with the premise all day long but continually arguing that he should be paid more like his counterparts is wasted energy.

Thanks, in large part, to your efforts to highlight the financial issues surrounding our football program I'm fairly confident most people here are well aware that our assistants, generally, should be paid more money. But let these folks enjoy their jokes. You don't have to like them. If you don't ruin theirs they won't ruin yours.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

I don't know specifics, but haven't several VT offensive records been broken since his arrival? Are we ignoring the fact he at least deserves some of the credit for that? To think that we are discussing lowering the salary of an already underpaid offensive coordinator at a P5 school is absurd.

Jokes get ruined pretty quickly these days...

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

"Cornelson sucks" jokes are about as funny as Dwayne Lawson transfer jokes at this point.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

It doesn't matter if Cornelsen sucks, he's an OC and there is a salary range for FBS OC's that his pay is going to fall within. Like others have pointed out his salary doesn't far exceed his production when compared to his peers, so this "joke" you keep repeating doesn't have any legs.

I think you mean "no merit". It appears to have attracted more legs than it deserves.

We're on our 3rd QB in 3 years, and have an offense rated better than our defense. If we're going to pay assistants strictly for their results, we may want to move our focus to the other side of the ball

Yeah for real! His salary should be swapped out with Wiles'

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

They could hire an adorable stray kitten who could call bubble screens and fade routes just like Cornelsen. They'd only have to pay for cat food and kitty litter and redirect the rest of the money.

I wanted to Hire Fridge after Murland let him go...and pay him in cheesesteaks for every touchdown.

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@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Why do I feel like this is appropriate?

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

At least I made someone laugh

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Deleted double post.

I don't know how good or bad Conry is... But if VT intends to make the playoffs anytime in my lifetime (or at least before football nosedives in popularity), $490k is peanuts for an OC.

Edit: Clemson's O-line coach makes more.

Can we free up a little money to hire a tackling coach?

I know a guy who will work for some drinks.

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Unreal to me that Charley Wiles with 23 years of tenure is only being paid $80,000 more than Tyrone Nix

He makes the same as the other position only coaches. Plus I've read hundreds of comments about how poor the depth on the DL is so why should he be making so much more than other position assistants?

All of the coaches should have higher base salaries but who are you going to take money from to raise his pay?

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Touche. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of a traditional corporate hierarchy where a person who has been working for a company for 23 yrs is bound to be making a substantial amount more than those who have been with the company for 1-3 yrs.

Also, it's hard for me to agree that the largest mark we can hold against Wiles (poor DL depth) is something that he is in complete control over. I mean maybe Wiles has been sounding the alarm that he needed more depth for years now and things that are out of his control have kept us from getting that depth.

Bid Foster and Wiles should be eligible for State pensions they have been here so long

How do Pitt and PSU get away with not reporting? Aren't salaries of public employees available to the public? Unless its a state of Pennsylvania thing, all the other non-reporting schools are private

VT '17

Pennsylvania has the worst open records laws in the nation.

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Also, how do private schools get away with not reporting?

Seems to me the NCAA should insist. Unless they just want to play other private schools.

The NCAA is not reporting this. It's a newspaper that did open-records requests. Public schools, as state institutions, have to abide by them. (Though Pennsylvania is notoriously stingy with info because the laws allow them to be.) Private schools don't have to respond to public record requests so they can keep it quiet.

They do have to file tax returns, however, which is where I think they've found some coaching figures before. It's why we know what Coach K makes in basketball, though even that might not be an accurate figure of all the money he gets in a year.

Oh yeah, I get that that NCAA isn't reporting it, but I'm saying that perhaps they should.

In the interest of fairness, shouldn't this all be public information?

I do find your post interesting, though. Sometimes we don't appreciate how hard the media works to make things transparent, which I appreciate and encourage. That extra effort is worthwhile.

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@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Fairness (not even what that means in this context) doesn't trump rights. We have no right to that information.

I disagree.

There's a reason why it's mostly in the public domain to begin with.

Who is paying for college football, really? And you're saying we don't have a right to know how much we're paying? There's an awful lot of public money tied up in college sports. I'm for as much transparency as possible.

Yes, I get that private institutions are private. But who are we kidding, really? I'm for all the transparency we can get in college sports.

You misspelled entitlement. You are owed nothing, even transparency.

To you from failing hands we throw
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@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Entitlement? Entitlement's got nothing to do with it.

Yeah, I think being a member of a society that subsidizes college sports with public money does give us certain rights.

When college football coaches are making between a quarter of a million and 5 million dollars, and are often the best paid public employees in a state, it may well be that we need to realize that, and start paying attention. Who is paying for those stadiums and buildings? Who is paying for the land they're on? And even if they're private, who is indirectly subsidizing them via tax breaks, public research grants, and direct subsidy?

Think carefully before you try and suggest that private universities don't get public funds.

Entitlement may be too strong a word, but I certainly believe in the concept of transparency, and I'm appreciative of the journalists who dig through any information they can find to make information publicly available and accessible.

Well, in Virginia at least, there is zero public money in college athletics. (well I suppose technically there is a little bit of public support as public college loan programs cover student athletic fees, which form a significant portion of athletics budgets around the state).

That being said, as a donor I think it's fair for the AD to share some information about spending and salaries with "the shareholders" at the very least.

I would argue that even if the expenditures are indirect, there is a good bit of public money in college athletics.

There's a reason public universities have to report these figures and that's because they are public. The figures you are after are not in the public domain.

Private donors are funding the athletic departments at private universities. There is no public money in those pots. Same goes for public university athletic departments. Only reason they have to disclose salary figures is because coaches are technically state employees.

You acknowledge that private institutions have basic rights but are quick to dismiss them with something as cavalier as "but who are we kidding". You are actually advocating to exercise a right you do not possess to violate a state granted right that has been in place for over 200 years.

How would you like it if we demanded you disclose all of your private finances on the basis that you are the recipient of some basic public goods? By your own logic we have a right to know.

The state part of the salary is minuscule too so it really doesn't matter about those figures. Most public school athletic coach salaries are a blend from several sources.

Quote below from this article.

Virginia Tech football coach Justin Fuente is making $4 million this year, according to The Roanoke Times. His state base salary doesn't even register in our database, which includes state salaries of $50,000 or more.

Virginia Tech and other universities have positions they consider "local," and do not report these salaries to the Department of Human Resource Management. These positions are funded entirely from endowments or other nonstate sources.

Hey, I'm as much for private rights as anyone. But if you work for a public institution like a university, yes, I think transparency is best. Which is why a good bit of transparency is already mandated. I'm just suggesting that since 95% of the information is public already, why not make it public for the private universities who are participating?

When public monies get mixed into public sports, yes, there's an absolute right of the public to know. But even when sports are funded with donations or TV revenues, it makes sense to keep it transparent.

Even big sports organizations like the NFL and the NBA reveal salaries. If we have no right to know, why do they do that? It's because at the end of the day, we realize that it's impossible have fairness in sports if you don't make the financial aspects somewhat transparent.

Pitt and PSU aren't public universities. They are state-related schools (i know, its bs). Where technically they are private schools that get state funding so that they offer cheaper tution to state residents.

My name's Michael Douglas and I want to roll back prices to 1965 levels. Strange priorities we in society have.

I like football, a lot, but have to ask, are these guys really worth this much money?

"The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. " Rocky B.

Correct. They're ALL overpaid.

But because you have to pay relative to the other ones, we're all stuck.

Are they overpaid?

Given the popularity of college football and the money it generates, I'd argue they're justifying their value. The same way Michael Jordan justified his to the Bulls, like LeBron justifies his to whatever team he's with that year, and Drew Brees justifies his. The money they generate(d) for their teams and the companies they sponsor is far and above what they're earning from their contracts.

If they're not overpaid based on revenues, then why do we have to donate money?

Ya know what might be part of the problem here? Our TV network deal. Note how much less money were getting as a result of the acc being absolute shit

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

O that's issue one. As I pointed out only two ACC coaches make over a million while 19 coaches from other conferences do.

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I'm sure it's part of the problem. Sure took them long enough to hammer out agreements and get an actual channel. The ESPN streams have been pretty much shit the last few years, as a stop-gap.

All of the other conferences have had TV deals for 4+ years. What the hell took the ACC so long to figure out..

I remember seeing the conference revenue splits earlier in the year and the ACC was dead last among the p5. Didn't VT athletics run at a deficit last year? Hard to pay more when your running at a net-loss.

All of the other conferences have had TV deals for 4+ years. What the hell took the ACC so long to figure out..

Second highest paid conference commissioner. Lowest revenues among the p5.

Thanks John!

Paid highly by the ACC

Used his position to get his son a huge bonus check from Raycom by accepting an absurdly lowball bid to continue the broadcast rights prior to the ACC Network

yeah, Swofford... hellofa guy

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Hate to keep beating the same drum here, but all this says is what we all know, money buys success. The correlation between top 25 payrolls and top 25 teams is glaring. So, we want success, we need money.

But to get more money, we need success...

Circuit overload..., Circuit overload..., Circuit overload...

UNC, Pitt, Louisville, LOLUVA, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Iowa, NCST and Arizona St all beg to differ on that.

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Correct, poorly run or mediocre at best athletic departments with a lot of funding do little good. Fortunately I think we have that in Whit so we just need the other side of things.

Touché.

10 years of ACC Network TV deals would have really helped, but nah we wanted to wait until the cost of networks comes down aka more people are cutting cable and not paying for extra packages.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

VT just got a $50million donation to Biomedical. Can we divert like $2 million to our coaching staff + a couple recruiting assistants

How does VT's total offering of mens and women's sports differ from the remainder of the ACC?

Doesn't Clemson just spend less collectively across the other non-revenue producing sports by offering less of them? And then double down on the two things that do matter to your reputation and bottom-line, namely football with a little men's bball mixed in? Think i read that here at some point..

Moreso, how do they manage to pull such greater revenues over VT (~25mil differential) when were the split from the ACC revenues is only a few million. All from championships and playoff participation? I'd be interested to see those itemized revenue splits.

Was using this as reference: http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/finances/

things that do matter to your reputation and bottom-line

Several Hokie athletes in non-revenue sports would like a word...
There is more to things than just money. Like the experience of playing D1 sports while attending an institution such as VT. Each school has their choices, and Clemson evidently has chosen that path.

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@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I'll give you the point on reputation, being competitive in everything can't be anything but good for the school. But i do scoff at the inclusion of 'bottom-line' here, not sure if it was just to include the full context of the sentence in quote.

It would seem this post was trying to rationalize VTs performance and ability to hire top-flight talent given what they do spend/can spend. In this context, it seems like money is the only thing, my takeaway was that we need more of it allotted to football to be competitive with other p5 conferences and the program at the top of our own.

Playing captain hindsight and seeing the results of the last 5-8 years makes me Clemson they picked right assuming this was a conscious decision. Frankly, the only connection i have to non-revenue producing sports at VT is when it's posted here with news or that they had won something of significance. That doesn't move the needle for me much.

It might not move the needle for you, but for others it means a lot.
There is a reason why the Commonwealth Clash exists. And those athletes are thankful that we do offer more than football and basketball.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I don't doubt that. This is one of those few times in my life where i would venture a guess that I sit with the majority vs opinion the stranger I am discussing with. I say that only with respect to the notion that there are lot more VT fans, particularly those that just keep up with football and/or basketball, than there are current and former student athletes.

In any case, the difference we are talking about between ourselves and Clemson or other top-tier p5 programs isn't going to be less apparent if we can men and women's golf and divert those funds into football. Andy Bitter gave some of those figures below, as response to my initial post asking about the the cause of that disparity.

In terms of the commonwealth clash, we only compare the sports in which we directly complete. If we or UVA dropped a sport, that would be one less point to be awarded. Same things happen when we don't face-off in a sport where both schools are represented.

You can see the biggest differences in some of the category breakdowns on there if you click on the schools:

Ticket sales: Clemson $25M, VT $17M
Donations: Clemson $33M, VT $15M

There's only a $4 million difference in rights/licensing money, but a bigger stadium (and presumably higher ticket prices) and some deeper pockets when it comes to donations account for the difference in revenue. It's why the Drive for 25 is such a big deal for VT.

Thanks Andy, that answers my question. Definitely is a considerable gap!

Time to start handing out honorary graduate degrees to the Forbes richest list and hope for some kickback.

Clemson Stadium is about 80k vs Lane at 66k... That 14k difference in Fans is HUGE in terms of $ for sure. Clemson Suite/Premium Seating giving/donation starts at 100k and then another 42k for the suite.

At $50/ticket for 6 games/season, that's $4.2M/year in ticket sales. But we can't even sell out our 66k stadium soooo

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At some point, VT may have to confront the possibility that it's not actually a football school (culturally speaking).

Donations: Clemson $33M, VT $15M

IPTAY will get after ya.

On one hand, it sucks seeing Clemson being able to really excel and take advantage of their limited sports offering.
On the other hand, I've had friends who started college playing D1 sports, only to see their team cut (Cough maryland cough), and it really sucks for them.

I don't want us to cut any sports, but I'm also not rushing to introduce an additional sport - lax, hockey, etc can stay club.

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On numbers alone it's kind of interesting how much Shibert makes, it's close to OC money (our OC). Why does Nix make 80k less? He is a position coach like the rest. If you arent going to reward Wiles for his years of service then why is Nix low? I would handle the Wiles pay/years in a bonus structure. That way it's easy to set up for all position coaches while keeping the pay grade the same.

Every single number on the list just shocking (I was aware what this list looked like before I saw it). The money around college football is just insane. We have million dollar salaries for the CEOs of single football games.

The most shocking thing of all of this is seeing the money and seeing that players arent more expensive to buy as they were in the 70s and 80s. Every time I hear of money going to players it's nothing compare to what's in the system. It was like $5k for that Rb out of Oregon (James?). what $50K for Cam? The CEO of the orange bowl gets $1 mil. The orange bowl isnt that important, lots of people could do that job for less money, and Cam brought in tons of money.

Zohn Burden has OC potential in his future...

"Dick to Hyman? DICK TO HYMAN!" - Guy in Lane Stadium crowd when Richard Johnson hit Josh Hyman on reverse pass in 2004.

What makes you say that?

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Only 2 assistant makes more than a million while 19 other assistants make more than 1 million.

I'm having a hard time understanding this, could you help me out? Are you saying that only 2 assistants in the ACC make >$1MM, but across the league there's 21 assistants that make >$1MM?

Only 2 assistants in ACC make a million or more. There are 19 assistants in other conferences making a million or more and that's going to go up this season.

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