Defense might not always win championships, but coaching that side of the ball pays well, especially in the SEC.
As we look ahead to the 2016 season, six SEC coordinators will earn more than $1 million this fall, while four more will make at least $800,000. And seven of those coaches — you guessed it — are defensive coordinators.
LSU’s two coordinators, Cam Cameron and newcomer Dave Aranda, each rank in the top 5. Texas A&M’s John Chavis (tied for first as the SEC’s highest-paid assistant) and Noel Mazzone both cracked the list as well, and Georgia is also represented twice in the top 10, with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker leading new head coach Kirby Smart’s staff.
Seven coaches ranked in the top 10 will make their debuts with new schools this fall: Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee DC Bob Shoop, Auburn DC Kevin Steele, Aranda, Chaney and Tucker and Mazzone.
Take a look at the complete top 10 and see just how much some of the conference’s top assistants are earning for their work:
|T1. John Chavis||Texas A&M||Def. Coordinator||$1.5 mil|
|T1. Cam Cameron||LSU||Off. Coordinator||$1.5 mil|
|3. Kevin Steele||Auburn||Def. Coordinator||$1.33 mil|
|4. Jeremy Pruitt||Alabama||Def. Coordinator||$1.3 mil|
|5. Dave Aranda||LSU||Def. Coordinator||$1.2 mil|
|6. Bob Shoop||Tennessee||Def. Coordinator||$1.15 mil|
|T7. Jim Chaney||Georgia||Off. Coordinator||$850K|
|T7. Mel Tucker||Georgia||Def. Coordinator||$850K|
|T9. Robb Smith||Arkansas||Def. Coordinator||$800K|
|T9. Noel Mazzone||Texas A&M||Off. Coordinator||$800K|
NOTE: Salaries based on USA Today’s database. Not all Vanderbilt coaching salaries are made public due to the University’s standing as a private institution; Cameron’s salary is from 2015. He and LSU agreed to a new deal last month, according to theadvocate.com, but the terms of that contract have not been revealed.