college football is a big-money business. With coaching changes abound, and head coaches signing new monster deals left and right, USA Today updated its football coaches salary database last week to include data for the 2013 season. The database includes salary information for most head coaches and assistant coaches in the Football Bowl Subdivision. It's important to note that there are some significant schools missing from this database, as the FOIA doesn't require private schools such as Notre Dame or Stanford to report salary information.
But, being that the Mid-American Conference is made up of 13 public universities we can see all the juicy numbers we need. I took the liberty of digging into the information and pulling out the MAC numbers for you to digest, and things are got interesting.
|Coach||Total Pay||MAX Total Pay With Bonuses|
|Frank Solich (Ohio)||$513,900||$813,250|
|Matt Campbell (Toledo)||$457,500||$857,500|
|Charley Molnar (UMass)||$418,930||$581,430|
|Dave Clawson (Bowling Green)||$401,000||$510,000|
|Don Treadwell (Miami)||$400,000||$793,660|
|Terry Bowden (Akron)||$400,000||$605,000|
|Pete Lembo (Ball State)||$399,000||$664,000|
|P.J. Fleck (Western Michigan)||$392,500||$628,500|
|Paul Haynes (Kent State)||$382,500||$643,500|
|Roderick Carey (Northern Illinois)||$376,000||$581,000|
|Ron English (Eastern Michigan)||$374,937||$464,937|
|Dan Enos (Central Michigan)||$360,600||$584,600|
|Jeff Quinn (Buffalo)||$325,000||$660,000|
A quick look at the MAC head coaching salaries reveals some interesting things about the conference. Most notably that Frank Solich remains the highest paid coach in the conference, even after Matt Campbell's contract upgrade earlier this season. But what may come as some shock to the casual MAC fan is that Charley Molnar is No. 3, while Jeff Quinn is dead last on this list. In fact, if you look at the list of coaches total salaries, pre bonuses, it's clear that being paid more doesn't always mean the coach is better. Not that anyone really believed that anyway. But, a very interesting thing to note here is that P.J. Fleck and Rod Carey are both first year head coaches, yet Carey, who managed to win 11 more games than Fleck, made $16,500 less for the 2013 season.
|Team||Staff Salary||Highest Paid Assistant|
|Akron||$886,000||Chuck Amato, defensive coordinator ($196,000)|
|Ohio||$852,797||Jimmy Burrow, defensive coordinator & Tim Albin, offensive coordinator ($126,333 each)|
|Northern Illinois||$849,030||Jay Niemann, defensive coordinator ($160,002)|
|Ball State||$842,870||Rich Skrosky, offensive coordinator ($128,500)|
|Miami||$835,350||John Klacik, offensive coordinator ($137,700)|
|Bowling Green||$826,600||Warren Ruggiero, offensive coordinator ($133,000)|
|Buffalo||$825,000||Lou Tepper, defensive coordinator & Alex Wood, offensive coordinator ($130,000 each)|
|Central Michigan||$817,206||Joe Tumpkin, defensive coordinator ($132,197)|
|Western Michigan||$797,500||Kirk Ciarrocca, offensive coordinator & Ed Pinkham, defensive coordinator ($140,000 each)|
|UMass||$772,700||Phil Elmassian, defensive coordinator ($168,394)|
|Toledo||$754,750||Louis Ayeni, assoc. head coach & Jason Candle, offensive coordinator ($115,450)|
|Eastern Michigan||$691,000||Stan Parrish, offensive coordinator/interim head coach ($121,963)|
|Kent State||$691,000||Brian Rock, offensive coordinator ($137,600)|
Things get even more interesting when you break down assistant coaches' salaries. Despite having the lowest head coaching salary, Buffalo actually pays its assistants pretty well. Toledo, which pays Matt Campbell the second highest base salary, and with bonuses he'd be the highest paid head coach in the MAC by a mile, is actually near the bottom in assistant coaches salaries. Once again though, it's hard to correlate salaries of assistants with salaries of success in the MAC.
But there is something very interesting going on in these numbers. In a conference known for having high-powered offenses, it's the defensive coordinators who are actually valued higher. Of the 13 MAC teams, only five have an offensive coordinator as their highest paid assistant coach. The four highest paid assistant coaches in the conference are all defensive coordinators (including the coordinator for a UMass defense that allowed 33 points-per-game this year).
The average salary for a MAC defensive coordinator is $45,884 more than that of a MAC offensive coordinator. This number is slightly skewed by the fact that Ron English served as his own defensive coordinator this season (before being fired). But even so, if you cut English's salary in half—one half for his head coaching duties, one half for his defensive coordinator duties—it comes out to $187,468 which is less than the highest paid defensive coordinator in the MAC, Akron's Chuck Amato. That would bring the average salary for a defensive coordinator in the MAC to $153,145 which is still $31,463 more than the average offensive coordinator.
The highest paid offensive coordinator in the MAC in 2013 was Western Michigan's Kirk Ciarrocca who made $140,000, or $56,000 less than the highest paid defensive coordinator (Amato). WMU's offense was among the worst in the nation this season. The next two highest paid offensive coordinators were former Miami OC John Klacik (who was canned after engineering one of worst offenses in the nation) and Kent State's Brian Rock (the Golden Flashes were seventh in the conference in total offense).
The lowest paid assistant coach in the MAC is EMU special teams coordinator Ryan Oshnock, who hauled in $52,195 in 2013.
|Team||Staff Salary||Cost Per Win|
If you try to correlate the cost of a staff with wins Northern Illinois, which has the third highest total salary, has the best cost-per-win at $70,752. Bowling Green had a bargain of a staff as well paying $82,660 for a win this season. Those numbers are disturbing for fans from the bottom half of the MAC. Miami had the fifth highest paid staff in the conference, but finished with zero wins. WMU and UMass spent more than $770,000 a piece for their one-win-seasons.
Some other fun facts to take away from the database:
- The cumulative total of MAC assistant coaches salaries comes out to about $4.8 million. That's $400,000 more than Alabama's assistant coaches make. (Pointed out by contributor Alex's roommate, @FrankAnderson4).
- 39 assistant coaches make more than Buffalo's entire assistant coaching staff. 99 assistants make more than Buffalo head coach Jeff Quinn.
- Among teams that reported salary information, only New Mexico State (Ind.) and UTEP (C-USA) spend less on their football staff salaries than Kent State does. The Golden Flashes won the MAC East in 2012 and had to rebuild a staff after Darrell Hazell left for Purdue.
- Among the four non-power conferences the MAC spends the least amount on assistant football coaches. The Mountain West leads the way with an average total staff salary of $1,337,986. Conference-USA averages just over $1 million per staff. The Sun Belt Conference averages $885,530 per staff, or nearly $80 thousand more than the MAC averages.