Well, I have to admit I missed this yesterday — a report from Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News breaking down the salaries of the Pac-12 football coaches and showing UW’s Steve Sarkisian at the top with his guaranteed salary of $2.55 million for the 2013 season.
Under terms of a contract he signed in 2011, Sarkisian’s guaranteed salary rises a little each year through 2015. He made a guaranteed $2.4 million in 2012 with that rising to $2.55 million in 2013, $2.7 million in 2014 and $2.85 million in 2015.
As Wilner’s list shows, that now puts Sarkisian ahead of the $2.4 million of USC’s Lane Kiffin and UCLA’s Jim Mora. One caveat is that USC, as a private school, does not release contract details, and Kiffin’s salary is taken from tax filings — there have been reports that he may make more. Also helping Sarkisian rise on the salary ladder is the departure of Oregon’s Chip Kelly, who had been making more than $3 million a year. His replacement, Mark Helfrich, is making a reported $1.8 million.
Wilner also notes he is not taking into account bonuses and retention payments — Sarkisian does not have any of the latter. All contracts these days have lots of incentives, though. Sarkisian, for instance, made an additional $25,000 last year for UW winning seven games, to name one. So the actual take-home pay for each coach is likely a little different than what you see listed above.
As far as I can recall, this would be the first time UW has had the highest-paid coach in the conference since Rick Neuheisel, who when he was hired in 1999 became the first coach in conference history to make $1 million.