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    Football. Marshall Law: Big money brings big pressure

    July 1, 2013

    In 1976, when Doug Barfield was named Auburn’s head football coach, he signed a contract for $42,000 annual salary plus $20,000 for appearing on the Auburn Football Review. That was it.

    Monday, Auburn released the contracts of the football coaching staff and head baseball coach Sunny Golloway. Head football coach Gus Malzahn stands to make more in a month that Barfield made in a year. As recently as 1999, Tommy Tuberville moved from Ole Miss to Auburn for a guarantee of $700,000 per year.

    My, how times have changed in college athletics, particularly in the Southeastern Conference. The salary Barfield was paid was, of course, worth a lot more then than it would be today, but it wasn’t in the ballpark of $2.3 million. And Malzahn, with one year of head coaching experience, isn’t near the top of the SEC.

    Malzahn gets a base salary of $500,000, plus $1.8 million in media endorsement rights and speaking engagements for a total of $2.3 million. His highest paid assistant, defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, makes $800,000 a year. The lowest paid assistants have to get by on $250,000 per year.

    Golloway makes $650,000 a year in salary and guaranteed extra income. He gets a $20,000 retention bonus for every year he completes and got a $25,000 signing bonus. Malzahn and Golloway can make substantially more if they reach incentives.

    SEC schools, particularly those like Auburn with substantial fan bases, are flush with cash. With the coming of the SEC Network, they’ll be even wealthier than they are now.

    But all that glitters is not gold.

    That money comes with challenges that can make the life of a head coach and by extension his assistants very difficult. The demands of the jobs are great. Free time is rare. There is recruiting and then spring practice and then more recruiting and speaking engagements and then preseason practice and finally the season. Then it starts all over.

    When a coaching staff makes millions, there is little patience from those who make it possible for them to make millions. The pressure is immense. But for those who are successful, the rewards are great and still growing.

    Here are the guaranteed incomes for Auburn’s football coach and for Golloway:

    Gus Malzahn, head football coach: $2.3 million, 5-year contract.

    Ellis Johnson, defensive coordinator: $800,000, 3-year contract.

    Rhett Lashlee, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks: $350,000, 2-year contract.

    Rodney Garner, associate head coach, defensive line coach, recruiting coordinator: $500,000, 3-year contract.

    Dameyune Craig, co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers: $350,000, 3-year contract.

    Charlie Harbison, co-defensive coordinator and safeties: $425,000, 2-year contract.

    Tim Horton, running backs: $250,000, 2-year contract.

    Scott Fountain, special teams and H-backs: $250,000, 2-year contract.

    Melvin Smith, safeties: $300,000, 2-year contract.

    J.B. Grimes, offensive line: $270,000.

    Sunny Golloway, head baseball coach: $650,000.


    Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for Follow Marshall on Twitter:


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