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Comparing The Big 12 Coaching Salaries

The Dallas Morning News published a report with how much each public school in the SEC, Big 12, and state of Texas pays their football staff. It includes the salaries of everyone from the head coach to the equipment managers. So we’re taking a look at how the Big 12 schools stack up to each other!



Bob Stoops Press Conference | YouTube | Sooner Nation

The Dallas Morning News published an interactive report detailing how much public universities in the state of Texas, in the Big 12, and SEC pay anyone associated with their football programs.  And I mean anyone. They’ve listed the salaries of everyone from the head coaches to the equipment managers and administrative assistants. We’ll take a look at how the Big 12 schools stack up to each other, but first a couple of thoughts.

One, while interesting, this report is, as Staking The Plains points out, on the wrong side of creepy. It’s one thing to compare what the public faces of a university are paid. After all, when they signed their contract they understand that public scrutiny is part of the gig, and they’re compensated very nicely for that. However, I’m struggling with how appropriate it is to publish the names and modest salaries of the support staff.

I highly doubt an administrative assistant took the job anticipating a major media outlet publishing what most would consider private information. Obviously it’s not, but you wouldn’t expect your friends and family to file a FOIA request to get the info. If you want to publish the information okay, but it would have been better to stick to job titles. Publishing the support staffs’ names is as worthless as tits on a boar hog. It’s just not needed, and, as I said, creepy.

Second, Baylor and TCU are private universities, and do not make what they pay their coaches and staff public. So, as we compare the Big 12 schools, they are noticeably absent.

With that said, let’s get into it. It’s no surprise that Bob Stoops is the highest paid coach in the Big 12. What is a little bit shocking is how sorely underpaid Bill Snyder is. There’s a case to be made that he’s the best coach in all of college football. Come on K-State, open up that wallet!

Comparing Big 12 Head Coach Salaries

Name School Salary Year
Bob Stoops OU $6,000,000 17
Charlie Strong UT $5,100,000 2
Mike Gundy OSU $3,700,000 11
Kliff Kingsbury TTU $3,100,000 3
Dana Holgorsen WVU $2,880,000 6
Paul Rhoads ISU $1,900,000 7
Bill Snyder KSU $1,710,000 24
David Beaty KU $800,000 1


There’s lots to talk about here, so I’m just going to highlight some of my thoughts in no particular order.

  • In a conference known for offense, who would have thought that the top three highest paid coordinators are in charge of the defensive side of the ball? In fact, (if my math is correct) the average salary of defensive coordinators in the Big 12 is $528,448. Compared to $431,667 for their offensive counterparts. That’s nearly a $100,000 difference!
  • Oklahoma State is suing the Texas offensive coordinator Joe Wickline for nearly $600,000 for breach of contract. Wickline was OSU’s offensive line guru prior to joining Charlie Strong’s staff, and they feel that the Longhorns are misrepresenting Wickline’s position at Texas by labeling him the offensive coordinator. Wickline’s contract with the Pokes had a buyout of $593,487 if he were to leave for a position other than OC, or presumably HC. So it’s interesting that Wickline is actually the Big 12’s highest paid offensive coordinator (especially if that’s not what he’s doing!). It’s even more interesting that the Longhorns “co-coordinator” is officially listed as the assistant head coach for offense. Whatever that is. Despite other schools utilizing co-coordinators, Shawn Watson is the only person in the conference with that title according to the report. He actually makes $75,000 a year more than Wickline too. It will definitely be interesting to see how the lawsuit plays out.
  • K-State is the only school to pay all of their coordinators the same amount.
  • First year Kansas head coach David Beaty is the only coach to make less than the highest paid coordinator in the league.

Comparing Big 12 Coordinator Salaries

Name School Title Salary
Mike Stoops OU Defensive Coordinator $905,000
Vance Bedford UT Defensive Coordinator $800,000
Tony Gibson WVU Defensive Coordinator $651,000
Shawn Watson UT Asst. HC for Offense $650,000
Joe Wickline UT Offensive Coordinator $575,000
Glenn Spencer OSU Defensive Coordinator $550,000
David Gibbs TTU Defensive Coordinator $550,000
Lincoln Riley OU Offensive Coordinator $500,000
Clint Bowen KU Defensive Coordinator $400,000
Dana Dimel KSU Co-Offensive Coordinator $400,000
Del Miller KSU Co-Offensive Coordinator $400,000
Tom Hayes KSU Defensive Coordinator $400,000
Mike Yurcich OSU Offensive Coordinator $400,000
Kenny Perry KU Co-Defensive Coordinator $399,500
Wally Burnham ISU Defensive Coordinator $384,375
Mark Mangino ISU Offensive Coordinator $350,000
Rob Likens KU Offensive Coordinator $350,000
Eric Morris TTU Offensive Coordinator $260,000
Mike Smith TTU Co-Defensive Coordinator $245,000


I’m not going to break down the individual salaries of the support staff because of the aforementioned creepiness, but it’s fascinating to see how much each athletic department pays their football staff in total. A couple of things stand out here. Texas pays nearly three times what Kansas does in football related salaries, and Bob Stoops makes more than Iowa State and Kansas’ entire football staff, and remember, that’s including athletic directors! Crazy!

Comparing Big 12 Football Staff Total Salaries

School Total Salary Staff Making Over $100k
Texas $14,399,408 23
Oklahoma $12,373,433 15
Oklahoma State $7,780,550* 10*
Texas Tech $7,766,784 15
West Virginia $7,339,030 12
Kansas State $6,370,624 12
Iowa State $5,835,003 13
Kansas $5,113,790 15
*Offensive line, running backs, and tight ends coaching salaries were unavailable due to recent hires.


For more detailed salary information, and to see how the Big 12 stacks up against the SEC, be sure to click over to the Dallas Morning News report and play around with it. Also, let us know what you think in the comments; was it inappropriate, or no big deal, to publish the names and salaries of personnel outside of the limelight?