Inside the Numbers: Big Ten schools make big investment to keep assistants

Inside the Numbers: Big Ten schools make big investment to keep assistants

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ead coach salaries get the lion’s share of media attention, but assistants’ pay actually increased at a faster rate over the past three years, and Big Ten schools are making the investment to keep their top assistants in the league.

Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck's $335,000 raise was more than the entire staff increase at all but four Big Ten schools.

Tim Beck’s $335,000 raise was more than the staff increase at all but four Big Ten schools.

According to a Detroit Free Press report, the 10 Big Ten members that release salary data will pay their assistants $1.72 million more this year than last — an increase of nearly 8%. (Northwestern and Penn State are not required to respond to open-records requests.)

The largest jump in assistant pay took place at Wisconsin, but as we pointed out in our closer look at the salaries of Gary Andersen’s staff back in March, the Badgers’ total payout to coaches in 2013 will actually be lower than it was in 2012.

Wisconsin assistants will earn $522,000 more than Bret Bielema’s final staff, a 26% increase.

But Bielema earned $2.6 million as Wisconsin’s head coach last season, while Andersen will make $1.8 million.

Wisconsin’s total on-field staff pay in 2012 was $4.6 million vs. a payout of approximately $4.295 million in 2013.

Former Badger defensive coordinator Chris Ash, the highest paid member of Bielema’s staff, earned just $267,050 a year ago. Dave Aranda, Andersen’s defensive coordinator, will be paid $480,000.

It’s the same on offense. Matt Canada made $265,000 as Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator in 2012, while new offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig will be paid $480,000.

The bulk of Nebraska’s $518,500 increase in staff pay from last year went to offensive coordinator Tim Beck, who had multiple offers to leave the Huskers following the 2012 season.

Beck remained at Nebraska and was rewarded with a $335,000 raise, which larger than the entire staff increase at all but four league schools.

His $700,000 salary makes him the Big Ten’s second-highest-paid assistant behind Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison ($750,000).

Big Ten Salary Notes

  • In 2013, Big Ten assistants will make an average of $268,000. As a point of reference, the SEC average assistant will make $315,000.
  • Ohio State is the Big Ten’s highest-paid staff at $3.416 million. For reference, Alabama is the SEC’s top-paid staff at $4.38 million.
  • The highest-paid assistant at seven of the 12 Big Ten schools is the defensive coordinator.
  • The Big Ten’s highest-paid non-coordinator are Ohio State cornerbacks and special teams coach Kerry Coombs and Wisconsin assistant head coach and running backs coach Thomas Hammock. Both will be paid $300,000.
  • Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis and defensive coordinator Phil Parker each make $325,000. That is less than the coordinators at Illinois, Purdue and Minnesota.
  • Michigan State’s staff average of $253,000 in 2013 is a 42% increase from the average of $178,000 in 2011.
  • Minnesota coaches are up 20.3% from 2013. The average Minnesota assistant will make $233,000 after overall staff increase of $355,000 from 2012.
  • Indiana is the only staff in the Big Ten with five assistants making under $200,000. Kevin Wilson’s staff is also the only one in the league with just one assistant who makes over $300,000.
  • Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke told the Free-Press that the $400,000 increase first-year coach Darrell Hazell’s staff will make is somewhat deceiving. The previous staff had more incentives built into their deals, he said.
  • Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska have the Big Ten’s highest minimum salaries; no Michigan assistant makes less than $205,000 and none of the 18 Michigan State and Nebraska assistants earn less than $200,000.

Here’s what the Big Ten schools are paying their nine on-field assistant coaches in 2013, and their 2012 pay and rank:

1. Ohio State $3.416 million ($3.22 million in 2012, 1st)
2. Michigan $2.805 million ($2.755 million, 2nd)
3. Nebraska $2.6485 million ($2.13 million, 6th)
4. Wisconsin $2.495 million ($1.973 million, 7th)
5. Iowa $2,318,052 million ($2.16 million, 5th)
6. MSU $2,273,775 ($2.18 million, 4th)
7. Minnesota $2.1 million ($1.745 million, 9th)
8. Illinois $2.065 million ($2.314 million, 3rd)
9. Purdue $2.01 million ($1.61 million, 10th)
10. Indiana $1,956,300.24 ($1.96 million, 8th)

Here’s the Big Ten increase/decrease in assistant coaches’ salary from 2012 to 2013:

1. Wisconsin: Up $558,000
2. Nebraska: Up $518,500
3. Purdue: Up $400,000
4. Minnesota: Up $355,000
5. Ohio State: Up $196,000
6. Iowa: Up $158,052
7. MSU: Up $93,775
8. Michigan: Up $50,000
9. Indiana: Down $3,699.76
10. Illinois: Down $249,000

Overall: Up $1,720,852.24

Detroit Free Press – Assistant Coaches Salary Database

Photo credit: NU Media Relations

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