The USA Today released its annual research into coaches' salaries yesterday, and after his offseason raise Mike Leach checks in as the No. 4 paid coach in the Pac-12 among the 11 salaries that were able to be obtained.
Leach's ranking could actually be as low as sixth; Southern California, as a private institution, is not required to disclose Steve Sarkisian's salary, and USA Today appears to only have been able to get partial information on David Shaw of Stanford (also a private institution), as no potential bonus pay is shown.
Here's the complete (sortable) list - the ranking on the left is the coach's national standing:
|RK||SCHOOL||HEAD COACH||SCHOOL PAY||OTHER PAY||TOTAL PAY||MAX BONUS|
|31||Washington State||Mike Leach||$2,750,000||$0||$2,750,000||$625,000|
|33||Arizona State||Todd Graham||$2,700,000||$2,960||$2,702,960||$3,491,000|
|61||Oregon State||Mike Riley||$1,510,008||--||$1,510,008||$369,000|
|???||Southern California||Steve Sarkisian||--||--||--||--|
I love these lists, because I always hold out hope that our fans will stop with comments like "We're paying almost $3 million for these results?" and "Why in the world did we give a raise to a coach who just blew a bowl game?"
This is about keeping up with the Joneses. While Leach is making more than any coach in school history and he's definitely in the upper tier of coaches in the conference, his salary -- compared to his peers -- is only slightly above median and definitely commensurate with a coach who has accomplished what he has.
As Bill Moos will tell you, that raise was for what Leach is going to do and is designed to keep him here when it happens.
Thoughts on what you see?