Being a college coach is hard work: your job depends largely on whether you win or lose. However, if you can withstand the pressure, you might get some pretty awesome perks.
Recently, The Athletic examined the contracts or working arrangements for 17 new head coaches at public universities across the United States, including schools such as the University of Cincinnati, the University of Colorado and the University of Nebraska. Some of these coaches are the highest-paid public employees in their states, and on top of the millions they receive in annual salaries, they receive bonuses that make the deal even sweeter.
Generally, each coach receives a country club or golf club membership for their entire family. That’s because schools view such a benefit as a “promotion” that allows coaches to interact with potential donors. Most schools also offer game season tickets that coaches can share with family and friends. Many give 10 to 14 tickets plus use of a suite and tickets to other college sports games. However, Western Michigan University went all out and gifted their coach a whopping 34 season tickets.
Off the field, certain Trainers get even more amenities. Colorado’s Deion Sanders gets two free SUVs to drive around in or an extra salary of $1,200 a month (on top of the $5.5 million he’ll make in 2023). Nebraska’s Matt Rhule has 50 hours of private flight time for personal use (his contract starts at $5.5 million and goes up to $12.5 million by the end), while University of Wisconsin’s Luke Fickell has it every year an additional $125,000 in travel and entertainment fringe benefits.
Of course, these coaches’ contracts aren’t just perks, and some include clauses that restrict their actions in certain ways. Sanders, for example, is contractually required to wear Nike gear in his official capacity – despite his personal deal with Under Armour. And Kent State University’s Kenni Burns, once he leaves school, will not be able to contact or recruit any Kent State players within a year of his departure.
But these are all relatively small requirements in the grand scheme of these businesses. And when a coach is afraid of being fired, many of them have buyouts worth millions of dollars (the University of Louisville coach would get a staggering $40 million if he was fired for no reason). With that kind of money around, maybe we should all aim for a coaching career.