College football season is here again and preseason No. 1 champ, Ohio State University, and other teams in the NCAAF are preparing to face off on the field. For many fans, it’s an exciting time since their favorite players are hungry, driven and focused to land multi-million-dollar salaries afforded to NFL pros.
But it’s college football coaches that bring in the big bucks, with some making tens-of-millions of dollars as they strive to send their teams to the national championship. Find out how much your favorite college football coaches are worth and which get paid the most.
Nick Saban Net Worth: $30 Million
University of Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has the highest net worth of all college football coaches in 2015, and he’s the highest-paid coach in college football, commanding a seasonal salary of $7.1 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Saban is in high demand as a coach, too. According to ESPN, the University of Texas offered Saban a contract worth $100 million last year to manage the Longhorns, but the longtime Alabama coach decided to stick with his home team, signing instead an eight-year, $55 million contract that includes performance bonuses. Forbes noted that should Saban be terminated for whatever reason, he’ll still be able to cash out his remaining base salary and talent fees.
Urban Meyer Net Worth: $18 million
The Ohio State University Buckeyes coach holds an impressive track record as a career football coach, where his annual salary averages $4.5 million. Meyer’s OSU record of 38-3 is just one portion of his 142-26 career win-loss resume. He’s coached for Bowling Green State University, the University of Utah and the University of Florida. According to his OSU bio, Meyer is one of the few coaches to ever win national titles at two different schools.
Jim Harbaugh Net Worth: $15 Million
Was Harbaugh expressing humility after admitting he’s not worth his $5 million salary? Only time will tell if the University of Michigan coach is worth his $15 million net worth. His experience on the field, however, sets him up for success.
As the former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Harbaugh brings a level of professionalism and expertise to the Wolverines. Before his coaching days, Harbaugh’s net worth skyrocketed when he became an NFL quarterback. The coach has played for the likes of the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers.
Steve Spurrier Net Worth: $15 Million
Steve Spurrier’s net worth is $15 million. As a former Heisman Trophy winner, the coach first gained recognition playing for the University of Florida and later, for the 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a brief stint coaching the Washington Redskins on the NFL front, Spurrier’s coaching career later led him back to his home state of Florida and then the University of South Carolina, where his current post as coach earns him a $4 million salary.
Charlie Strong Net Worth: $15 Million
Earning a $5 million salary with the University of Texas, it’s no surprise Charlie Strong’s net worth is $15 million. Strong has had a coaching career stretching across 30 years and numerous college teams. His first head coaching gig began in 2010 with the University of Louisville. By mid-2014, he held a career win-loss record of 42-30, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Charlie Strong is currently head coach at the University of Texas. Despite his resume, Strong’s $5 million salary has not sat well with others. Former San Antonio Spurs owner “Red” McCombs said in a Columbia Sports Journalism interview that Strong isn’t qualified for such a high payout: “(Strong) doesn’t have a reputation and he has not built up a reputation that would, in my opinion, qualify him for that kind of money in any way.”
Mark Dantonio Net Worth: $14 Million
Michigan University Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio is one of the higher earners among college football coaches, commanding an annual salary of $5.6 million. With his income and reputation as one of the best defensive coaches in the NCAAF, it’s no surprise Mark Dantonio’s net worth comes in at $14 million.
The coach has led the Spartans to a pair of Big Ten championships. He was also named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2013. Dantonio was ranked fourth best college football coach for the money in 2014, according to Forbes Magazine.
James Franklin Net Worth: $12 Million
After playing quarterback at East Stroudsburg, James Franklin spent the better part of two decades honing his coaching skills with a number of college teams. Last year, Franklin returned to his native state, Pennsylvania, to become head coach for Penn State. Franklin’s six-year contract is worth more than $4.5 million per year, according to CBS Sports, making him one of the top-paid coaches in the Big Ten. James Franklin’s net worth is $12 million.
Les Miles Net Worth: $12 million
Nicknamed “The Hat” for the signature white cap he wears at games, Les Miles commands a net worth of $12 million. He earns more than $4 million annually as head coach at Louisiana State University. Miles became LSU’s coach in 2005, replacing Saban. Through 2014, Miles had a career coaching record of 130 wins and 49 losses, and a 7-5 record at championship bowl games.