With the success of the SEC Network and repeated bowl berths in the double digits, there’s no shortage of money in the Southeastern Conference. One college football columnist thinks three schools aren’t getting what their money’s worth when it comes to paying the head coach.
David Kenyon of Bleacher Report recently named the six most overpaid FBS coaches, excluding first- and second-year coaches, and half of his list hails from the SEC:
- Bret Bielema, Arkansas
- Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech
- Mark Stoops, Kentucky
- Butch Jones, Tennessee
- Steve Addazio, Boston College
- Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
None of the three SEC coaches inherited ideal situations, but Kenyon believes the cutthroat nature of the SEC could potentially catch up to them. Bielema and Jones both make roughly $4.1 million, putting them in the top 20 salaries nationally, while neither team has won its division.
Kenyon notes that Bielema’s four-year tenure doesn’t justify the salary:
Bielema’s .490 winning percentage is the worst among the 18 returning coaches who collected at least a $4 million salary last year.
In the case of Jones, he points to the competition. Florida’s Jim McElwain is coming off back-to-back trips to Atlanta and Georgia’s Kirby Smart is dominating on the recruiting trail.
While many consider Kentucky on the rise after a bowl berth, Kenyon believes that Stoops’ salary of $3.5 million puts expectations even higher:
Of the top 40 returning coaches, the only winning percentage lower than Stoops at .388 is from Virginia’s Bronco Mendenhall, who just arrived in Charlottesville last year.
The seven highest paid SEC coaches managed to avoid Kenyon’s list. Beliema and Jones come in at Nos. 8 and 9 in the conference, with the Arkansas coach making $35,000 more than the head Vol. Stoops comes in at No. 11 in the conference, ahead of fellow SEC East coaches Will Muschamp, Derek Mason and Barry Odom.