Top 25 highest paid coaches in college football

Top 25 highest paid coaches in college football

Stephen Samra11 days
Article written by:Stephen SamraStephen Samra


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The Top 25 highest paid coaches in college football featuring a bevy on interesting names scattered throughout. While Nick Saban topping the list may not shock anyone, some of the coaches that make up the rest of the Top 25 aren’t living up to their salary.

While the highest paid coaches aren’t always the most successful, it can be a great indicator of expectations. Alas, it’s evident programs like the LSU Tigers and Stanford Cardinal aren’t living up to theirs.

Moreover, one of the highest paid coaches on the list isn’t even coaching any longer this season — Clay Helton. Obviously, USC thought it better to cut bait with a bad investment than see it through.

Using USA TODAY’s complete salary data, here are the Top 25 highest paid coaches in college football. Whether some of the coaches deserve to be on the list is a story for another day.

Top 25 highest paid coaches in college football:

1) Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide – $9,753,221

2) Ed Orgeron, LSU Tigers – $9,012,917

3) David Shaw, Stanford Cardinal – $8,924,683

4) Dabo Swinney, Clemson Tigers – $8,370,775

5) Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma Sooners – $7,672,710

6) Dan Mullen, Florida Gators – $7,570,000

7) Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M Aggies – $7,500,000

8) Kirby Smart, Georgia Bulldogs – $7,133,600

9) Ryan Day, Ohio State Buckeyes – $6,614,693

10) Gary Patterson, TCU Horned Frogs – $6,103,543

11) Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern Wildcats – $5,748,179

12) Chip Kelly, UCLA Bruins – $5,600,000

13) Mel Tucker, Michigan State Spartans – $5,566,303

14) Steve Sarkisian, Texas Longhorns – $5,545,000

15) Mark Stoops, Kentucky Wildcats – $5,263,600

16) Kyle Whittingham, Utah Utes – $5,200,000

17) Scott Frost, Nebraska Cornhuskers – $5,000,000

18) Kirk Ferentz, Iowa Hawkeyes – $5,000,000

19) Bryan Harsin, Auburn Tigers – $5,000,000

20) Mike Leach, Mississippi State Bulldogs – $5,000,000

21) Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss Rebels – $4,841,937

22) Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh Panthers – $4,816,806

23) Clay Helton, USC Trojans – $4,813,832

24) P.J. Fleck, Minnesota Golden Gophers – $4,420,000

25) Jeff Brohm, Purdue Boilermakers – $4,417,774

The SEC leads the way

At the mountaintop of the top 25 highest paid coaches in college football, the SEC leads the way. Nick Saban gets paid to be Nick Saban, and everyone else gets paid to beat Nick Saban.

Right after Saban, LSU’s Ed Orgeron slots in at No. 2 on the list. Afterwards, Florida’s Dan Mullen lands at No. 6, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher at No. 7 and Georgia’s Kirby Smart at No. 8.

Currently, Orgeron’s salary looks like the worst investment. As he enters a game against Mullen’s Gators this weekend, the Tigers coach has rumors of his firing swirling over his head.

As for Fisher, he finally defeated Saban for the first time this past weekend. Moreover, Smart’s ranking in the top 25 may seem low — but he’s more concerned with his Bulldogs leading the way in the polls.