With the departure of Donte Williams to Nebraska, the subject of how much Arizona Wildcats assistant football coaches has been kind of a hot topic recently.
Luckily for us, USA Today released their assistant coach salary database. Here’s a look at how much Arizona’s coaches make, and how they rank in the entire NCAA:
Williams obviously now makes more than what is listed here. He will now make $400,000 a season, which goes up to $425k/year in Feb. 2018.
When talking about Arizona’s ability to compete year in and year out, it kind of starts with how much money is available for assistant coaches, and if those coaches will actually get multi-year contracts moving forward.
So let’s compare how the $2,834,900 figure compares to the rest of the Pac-12 (USC and Stanford do not have to release these numbers, so they don’t):
|School||Assistant coach salary|
Arizona is being outspent by just about everyone in the South except for this year’s division champion, Colorado.
In the individual coach ranks, Calvin Magee is the 7th-highest paid assistant in the conference. Marcel Yates is 11th. So Arizona is paying its coordinators about on par with the rest of the conference, but the other assistant positions are much lower (Vince Amey is among the worst-paid coaches in all of the Power Five conferences).
This also gives a pretty good idea of why Williams left Arizona after just one year for bigger and better things at Nebraska. There wasn’t a lot of future for him in Tucson, so he got an opportunity to move up in the coaching ranks by taking the exact same job he had at UA. He also has better job security thanks to a multi-year contract. If you’re criticizing him for that move, then you’re living in some sort of alternative reality.
If Arizona wants to seriously compete in the Pac-12 each and every year, a few things need to change, but near the top of the list is the structure of assistant coach contracts. Both the years need to be increased, as well as the yearly salary. Whoever the head coach is won’t be able to bring in the best of the best because they will be handcuffed by the amount of money available, and by the fact most of these coaches are on year-to-year deals.