Nick Saban is about to be paid like royalty, and rightfully so. On Tuesday the University of Alabama board of trustees approved contracts for Alabama’s head football coach and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, agreeing to pay Saban a reported total of $5.62 million and Smart $1.28 million.
With the new contract in place, Saban is now officially college football’s highest paid head coach. Texas head coach Mack Brown is the second highest-paid head coach in college football and technically had been the highest coach prior to this new Saban contract value. Saban had a higher total pay than Brown but the Longhorns head coach received a higher maximum bonus payout to have a more valuable contract. Saban’s new contract, adjusted for new BCS playoff format incentives, surpasses Brown’s total contract value by $316,250.
New incentives for Saban include a $200,000 bonus for reaching the semifinal game, $300,000 for reaching the championship game and $400,000 for winning the national championship.
Smart is now the highest paid defensive coordinator in the country, passing LSU’s John Chavis in the process. Alabama’s defensive coordinator also now makes more than head coaches at three Big Ten schools (Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue), and at least three other schools from BCS AQ conferences (Boston College, Rutgers, Colorado). Smart is considered a potential head coach in the making but a more secure contract as an assistant at Alabama will keep him in Tuscaloosa for now.
“Ultimately, my goal in my career is to be a head coach,” Smart told reporters in January. “Where that is, I have no idea. It’s not like I wake up every day trying to leave Alabama. I have the best non-head coaching job in the country, period, because I’ve got a great administration. We’ve got a great facility. I want to be where I can win, and I know you can win at Alabama.”
Smart will also make twice what new athletic director Bill Battle will receive at Alabama. Battle’s four-year contract was approved for a total of $620,000 plus bonuses.
In addition, contracts for offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier ($680,000 from $590,000), defensive line coach Chris Rumph ($360,000 from $310,000), linebackers coach Lance Thompson ($400,000 from $375,000), tight ends/special teams coach Bobby Williams ($400,000 from $350,000) and running backs coach Burton Burns ($315,000 from $290,000) were approved. Two-year contracts for three new assistants were also approved: Offensive line coach Mario Cristobal will make $475,000 in base salary while wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Billy Napier and defensive backs coach Greg Brown are set to make $300,000 each.
Source: ESPN.com, USA Today college football coaching salaries
Follow Kevin on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.