I recently got a free trial to USA Today's football coaching salary database, and I thought I'd share some insights on where VT stands.
Where VT stands relative to other schools (for which we have data):
|FBS Rank||ACC Rank|
|Head Coach Pay||42th||7th|
|Total Assistant Pay||28th||5th|
|Total Staff Pay||30th||5th|
What if VT was in a different conference?
I thought it would be interesting to see how VT's payroll would stack up against teams in other conferences. You can interpret this table to say 'If VT was in conference X, where would their coaching payroll rank in that conference?'
|Conference||Total Staff Pay||Head Coach Pay||Total Assistant Pay|
- 'Total Assistant Pay' refers to just the 10 on-field assistants
- Total Staff Pay includes Head Coach Salary, Total Assistant Pay, and Strength Coach Salary
- There are 11 schools that USA Today has no data for (SMU, Temple, Miami, Duke, Texas Christian, Notre Dame, Army, Brigham Young, Air Force, Southern California, Vanderbilt)
- There are an additional 14 schools that USA Today has head coaching data for, but no salary info for assistants (Hawaii, Rice, Tulsa, Liberty, Tulane, Navy, Boston College, Wake Forest, Baylor, Syracuse, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Penn State)
- Conference affiliation matches the 2023 season (eg; Texas is in the B12, not SEC)
- There are some coaching changes that are not up to date (Shane Beamer's extension, Miss. St HC/DC, Garret Riley to Clemson OC, Kendall Briles to TCU, etc)
- The SEC/B10 have clearly separated themselves
- The arms race moves quick. In about 15 months we went from having the 3rd highest paid staff in the ACC to the at best 6th (Miami is definitely paying more than us. Pitt likely is too, but not much).
- There is more stratification at the top than the bottm:
- Of the schools spending more than us on Total Coach Pay, there are three (Illinois, UCLA, Minnesota) spending within a million of us.
- Of the schools spending less than us on Total Coach Pay, there are 8 (Nebraska, Iowa State, Indiana, Washington, Missouri, Virginia, Cincinnati, Purdue) spending within a million of us.
- For context, the difference in staff total staff spending for schools 1 and 8 (Alabama and Michigan, respectively) is roughly $5m.
Some things that surprised me or stood out or otherwise interested me:
- We're outspending Nebraska (on staff) - that was surprising
- The two AAC schools outspending us (again, on staff) are Cincinnati and Houston - both going to the B12 next year
- It's interesting to see how coach pay compares to total assistant pay at different schools.
- Dabo was once known for taking a 'lower' salary to get good assistants. Now he's making ~$4m more than all of his assistants combined (this does not account for Garret Riley, who will probably get ~$2m, but still, Clemson is spending nearly 60% of their total coaching staff spend on Dabo).
- Pry is paid 41.25% of our total coaching staff budget. This percentage ranks 75th among schools we have data on. To be expected for a first time head coach.
- If you want to look at the delta between head coaching salaries and assistant salary pools, you'll see that VT has the 6th highest negative differential between head coach pay and assistant pay (Pry makes $4m, Assistants make $5.3m total, thus a -$1.3m difference). The other schools with a larger negative differential (meaning that HC salary - assistant salary pool < 0) are Florida State, Tennessee, Oregon, Texas, South Carolina (this one is out of date), and Washington. All of these programs are on the. rise. 5 of those schools are rebuilding (Oregon isn't) and every school except FSU had a first or second year coach. VT is a rebuild with a (now) second year coach, so maybe this is a sign of good things to come? Sure, why not.
EDIT - A note about coordinator pay:
I don't want to go through USA Today's list of nearly 1300 assistants from 130 FBS and figure out which ones are coordinators vs position coaches. However, if we assume that the two highest paid assistants on a roster are coordinators, then we can determine coordinator pay pretty accurately:
- By this method, VT is paying $1.715m for our two coordinators
- Of the 106 schools we have assistant salary data for, VT ranks 50th for coordinator pay
- Of the 8 ACC schools we have assistant salary data for, VT ranks 6th, BUT the 3 schools right above us in coordinator pay (Louisville, FSU, Clemson) are basically paying their coordinators the same as us ($1.725m, $1.75m, and 1.775m, respectively)