- The average institutional expenditure for all coaches in all sports in the FCS and non-Football is just under $550,000. This covers an average of 15.3 coaches, nearly the same as FBS, and averages out to under $36,000 per Head Coach.
- The average FCS institution spends approximately 15.3% of its total head-coaching budget on the Head Football Coach, with a high of 52.8% and a low of 5.6%. The vast majority of institutions (76% of them) spend between 10-25% of their head-coaching budget on the Head Football Coach.
- Overall, total spending on salaries are on the rise over the last four years, up nearly $320,000 in the F and nearly $190,000 for non-Football institutions.
With FBS Football coach salaries skyrocketing in the last few years, and a reported contract extension from Alabama that will pay $7 million per year to Nick Saban, it’s helpful to remember that these coaching salaries are the exception, not the norm. Over the last four years, 2009-2012, the average institutional expenditure for all coaches, in all sports in the FBS, is just over $4.5 million. That covers an average of 16.5 head coaches per institution, so in theory the average Head Coach makes around $275,000. Of course Head Coaches (football, basketball) in the money sports make significantly more than that, so it stands to reason that the average head coach makes significantly less than that $275,000.
In the non-FBS divisions, FCS and non-Football, the average institutional expenditure for all coaches in all sports is just under $550,000. Covering an average of 15.3 coaches, nearly the same as FBS, that averages out to under $36,000 per Head Coach. Let’s break these numbers down a bit more, focusing on the same non-FBS schools that we studied in regard to Student Aid and Student Fees.
First, the average yearly expenditure on all coaches’ salaries of the institutions we studied was $2.4 million for FCS institutions, and $1.9 million for non-Football institutions. That was weighed an average of 48.6% for head coaches and 51.4% for assistant coaches in the FCS group, and 58.6% for head coaches and 31.4% for assistant coaches in the non-Football group. This weight towards head coaches in the non-football group is most likely because those institutions employee fewer assistant coaches than institutions in the FCS group, where there are more assistants to balance out the head coaches’ salaries. Here are the top 5 discrepancies and balanced schools over the last four years in each group:
|Non-FB Inst.||Year||%HC High||Non-FB Inst.||Year||%HC Low|
|New Jersey Tech||2009||100.00%||VCU||2010||47.0%|
|New Orleans||2012||76.5%||Kennesaw St.||2010||48.8%|
|FCS Inst.||Year||%HC High||FCS Inst.||Year||%HC Low|
|Alcorn St.||2009||100.00%||Stephen F. Austin||2009||36.8%|
|Savannah St.||2010||70.2%||Stephen F. Austin||2010||37.1%|
|Lamar||2010||63.0%||Stephen F. Austin||2012||37.9%|
|Binghamton||2009||60.8%||Prairie View A&M||2011||37.9%|
|Binghamton||2012||60.2%||Stephen F. Austin||2011||38.4%|
Specifically, the average FCS institution spends approximately 15.3% of its total head-coaching budget on the Head Football Coach, with a high of 52.8% and a low of 5.6%. The vast majority of institutions (76% of them) spend between 10-25% of their head coaching budget on the Head Football Coach. Of the 224 institution years studied, 145 of them (65%) of them offer their Head Football Coaches contingent bonuses, the average of which is 24% of the head coach’s compensation. (The high is 194%, while the low is just 0.8%.)
Some institutions rely on outside sources to furnish part of their head coaches’ or assistant coaches’ salaries, but not many. Of the institutions studied, just 23.6% of FCS institutions used outside funds for the head coach salaries, and 15.2% of non-Football institutions did so. 13.9% of FCS used outside funds for assistant coach salaries, while 13.0% of non-Football institutions did so. Most likely these funds were used as supplements rather than full salary providers – here is the breakdown of those who do use supplemental sources:
|Supplement Type||FCS Avg||High||Low||Non-FB Avg||High||Low|
Supplemental sources can be used as a buffer against big swings in revenue and expenditures from year to year. Of the schools we had data for, just 7.6% of them had three straight years of less than 5% change in total coaches’ salaries between 2009-2012. Another 40.2% had three straight years of less than 10% change. That means that over half of the schools we studied had at least one season out of three where their total coaches’ salaries went up or down by more than 10%. Of that 52.2%, a third of them had 10% swings in two of three years, and one school had a greater than 10% swing in three straight years. Overall, total spending on salaries are on the rise over the last four years, up nearly $320,000 in the FCS and nearly $190,000 for non-Football institutions.
Average Coaching Salaries, Benefits, and Bonuses Paid by the University and Related Entities
|Year||FCS Head Coaches||FCS Asst. Coaches||FCS All Coaches||Non-FB Head Coaches||Non-FB Asst. Coaches||Non-FB All Coaches|
|2009||$1, ,708||$1, ,467||$2, ,080||$1, ,460||$ ,143||$1, ,547|
|2010||$1, ,670||$1, ,681||$2, ,350||$1, ,031||$ ,771||$1, ,802|
|2011||$1, ,774||$1, ,635||$2, ,409||$1, ,720||$ ,475||$1, ,196|
|2012||$1, ,055||$1, ,050||$2, ,106||$1, ,846||$ ,296||$2, ,519|
Finally, when we look at how much coaches’ salaries impact an athletic department’s total budget, there’s some good news for AD’s. Even though their payouts to coaches are growing each year, the percentage of their budgets those payouts comprise is getting smaller, shrinking a minute amount between 2009-10 and 2010-11, but dropping over 5% in FCS and 8% at non-Football institutions between 2011-12. This means that schools are generating more revenue overall, and thus have more money to spend in other areas.
Average % of Total Operating Expenses going towards Coaches’ Compensation
|Year||FCS Avg||FCS Max||FCS Min||Non-FB Avg||Non-FB Max||Non-FB Min|
Coach Salaries continue to rise and for the negotiation of compensation Win AD gives ADs, Deputies, and CFOs the data to rise to the challenge. The Win AD Coaches database provides salary information on over 29,000 coaches in DI and DII, including .pdf contracts. Assistant Coach Pool Spend (from the NCAA financials) over a five-year trend line is easily accessible by sport in the Athletic Department overview database and can also be benchmarked against peer and institutions.