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Friday, June 21, 2024

Saban Leads Pack of Highest-Paid College Football Coaches

  • Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is the second-highest-paid coach at $10.54 million.
  • Kirby Smart — who led Georgia to a national title in 2021 – will pocket $10.25 million.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban remains college football’s highest-paid coach for the third consecutive year. 

According to USA Today, pay for college football head coaches experienced its greatest one-year spike in 2022 — an average increase of 15.3% since 2021.

Saban is set to make $10.95 million in 2022, up from $9.75 million in 2021 — when his Alabama Crimson Tide finished as the College Football Playoff runner-up. 

  • Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is the second-highest-paid coach at $10.54 million.
  • Kirby Smart — who led Georgia to a national title in 2021 – will pocket $10.25 million.
  • LSU’s Brian Kelly rounds out the top four at $9.81 million after leaving Notre Dame in 2021.

Outside of the top four are Big Ten coaches, led by Mel Tucker at Michigan State who will make $9.56 million this year as the conference’s coaches average $9.5 million for 2022. 

On the Rise 

The lucrative contracts of college football’s top coaches continue to rise due to the flurry of coaching changes throughout the sport, expensive media deals, and winning-based incentives. 

Saban’s salary for 2022 includes $825,000 in bonuses, while Smart will take home $850,000 after bringing the Georgia football program its first national championship since 1980. 

In August, the Big Ten finalized a media rights deal worth at least $7 billion, sources confirmed to Front Office Sports — the largest media rights pact in all of college sports. As part of the agreement — which runs from 2023 to 2030 — FOX, CBS, and NBC will share rights.

Big Ten Finalizes Landmark Media Rights Deal Worth At Least $7B

The deal is the largest in college sports history.
August 18, 2022

The Pac-12 is reportedly taking bids for its next media rights deal and is considering Amazon.

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