Every year the USA Today complies a list of the salaries for all the 128 FBS football coaches. Topping this year's list is Alabama's Nick Saban at just over $7 million dollars. Syracuse's Scott Shafer came in 66th overall and dead last in the ACC at $1.3 million. Shafer isn't even within a half million dollars of the next lowest coach, the University of North Carolina's Larry Fedora at $1.9 million.
Jimbo Fisher tops the ACC at $5.1 million annually. Jim Harbaugh, Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops fill in the two through four spots with $7 million, $5.8 million and $5.4 million respectively. Most of the top salaries are easily justified by the amount of money the successes of the program have brought into the universities. Four of the top five have National Championships under their belts.
There are other times though when top salaries do not equate to results in the win column. Mike London, for instance, is the third highest paid coach in the ACC and 29th highest paid coach overall at $3.1 million, yet he has one winning season in his six seasons at Virginia, and a record of 24 wins as opposed to 41 losses over those six years. Randy Edsall, who is rumored to be on his way out at Maryland, makes $2.1 million a year and has amassed a 22-33.
One could certainly argue that Shafer is bargain compared to his ACC brethren. In fact, there are eight coaches from the Group of 5 Conferences that are paid more than Shafer, mostly from the AAC. There are only three coaches from Power 5 conferences that are paid less than Shafer: Kyle Flood from Rutgers at $1.2 million, Bill Cubit $915,000 (who was an assistant who was promoted to head coach right before the season began) and Kansas' David Beaty at $800,000.
What do you think? Is Shafer a bargain at $1.3 million? Which coaches are overpaid? Which coaches, if any, are "outcoaching" their current contracts? The reality is that every coach is worth exactly whatever a school is willing to pay him.