Most Overpaid College Football Coach In America?

College football coach Dana Holgorsen of West Virginia University

In most offices, poor performing workers could find that raise or bonus they were seeking is suddenly off the table -- or they may be suddenly sent packing. In the world of sports -- especially college sports, however, a big financial reward of hundreds of thousands of dollars could be coming.

Take the case of Dana Holgorsen (pictured above), head coach of the West Virginia University football team, the Mountaineers, who can expect to earn $2 million-plus this year despite finishing the season with a less-than-stellar 7-6 record.

Despite the team's mediocre record, the college plans to boost the salaries of its coaching staff by $475,000 this year, compared to 2012. As The Charleston Gazette reports, $225,000 of the total amount includes raises given to two current assistants and three new assistant coaches, who are being paid more than their predecessors.

But the bulk of the increase -- $250,000 -- stems from automatic raises built into Holgorsen's contract, signed in August. The quarter-million-dollar raise combined with a $75,000 retention bonus that Holgorsen earned just for working through Dec. 8, 2012, along with base pay and supplemental income of $2.3 million, will likely net him $2.625 million this year -- before any additional incentives.

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Holgorsen is hardly alone. Driving the astronomical increases is the very nature of college football, a multimillion-dollar business that is driven by contracts and revenues from bowl games. It's a business model that has made being a college football coach a very lucrative career.

But that doesn't mean everyone of them lives up to expectations. BleacherReport.com recently published its list of the "10 most overpaid" college football coaches. (Holgorsen wasn't among them.)

Topping the site's list was Mack Brown, head coach of the Texas Longhorns, who earned $5.3 million last year. Despite winning two titles within the Big 12 (a conference that includes the Mountaineers) and a national title, BleacherReport columnist Ian Berg says Brown has underachieved during his 14 years leading the team, despite a bottomless budget and an endless pool of talent.

Berg offers similar criticisms of the others that made the list. Overpaying coaches who produce mediocre results, he says, "is a widespread epidemic across the game where teams are under the assumption that they must pay top dollar for unproven coaching talent."





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54 Comments

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wllthompson8

collage football is a business ,the only way the a.d can have a rediculious salary is to overpay the coach .at lease the coach's bring in the money but it doesn,t make sense to pay acoach more that a productive manager in the business world .since assistent coachs are subject to move pretty often extra pay is probabvly fair .

February 11 2013 at 2:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Charlie

Sports coaches at the college level should be paid at the same level of college professors and instructors. Those professors impact countless numbers of students to succeed and make a difference in the world. Coaches get rewarded no matter what they do even if they get fired from one job they go to another. They care very little about the young people who play for them and a great deal about their own security.

February 03 2013 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
drb107

If Holgorsen has a good season next year this article will be forgotten, if not he will be on the hot seat, but his defense sucked, so if I was him I might be looking at a good defensive coordinator to hire or looking for another job.

February 03 2013 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kelmcnut

Here in Ohio State Country they should just go ahead and start paying the players.Game ticket prices have just been raised along with tuition.

February 03 2013 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sully3ptsht

Use the extra money to hire a defensive staff! Is there one ?

February 03 2013 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rkeeeballs

While I am struggling to help my kids through college , LSU gives their football coach a $500,000 raise for an annual salary of $4.3 MILLION PER YEAR ! 7 year contract.....wtf ?....That's a coach's salary ? BS ! Don't even wonder why tuition is $30-40 grand per year !....That's more than some professional football players salaries....Jeeeeesh !

February 03 2013 at 10:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeri-Anne

I just called him at 304-293-4194 and left a message about what a greedy sob I think he is.

February 03 2013 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
angler725

Is anyone's presence at a particular place/job really worth 2mill. a year? The same person at a desk on Wall St. is a monster. There is always a "faster gun" out there who'll be happy to do it for half, just to get the chance. I am pretty Conservative in most all things, but I can't affirm such crazy pay.

February 03 2013 at 8:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rclcski

oops! *"losing"

February 03 2013 at 7:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rclcski

Gee...I thought Kirk Ferentz of the Hawkeyes would be named in this article! He gets $3.875M/year -- and the Hawkeyes had a 2:6 Big Ten season and were 4:8 overall! Heck, Iowa can't even get rid of this slightly better than .500 career coach because his contract (through 2020) has a 75% buyout clause! (That's right folks, "loseing" is not considered "cause" in football when it comes to employment contracts). Athletic director Gary Barta better be concerned about his contract b/c the frustration over having to stick with Kirk for another 7 years could be taken out on him!

February 03 2013 at 7:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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