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Pac-12: UW's Steve Sarkisian highest-paid coach

Published March 5, 2013 2:52 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington's Steve Sarkisian has a mediocre 26-25 record in his four years in Seattle with three consecutive 7-6 seasons, but he's the Pac-12's highest-paid football coach.

Sarkisian's $2.55 million salary ranks slightly ahead of USC's Lane Kiffin and UCLA's Jim Mora, according to a list compiled by Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News.

My primary observation about this list is that there's clearly a conference-wide market for these coaches. Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, for example, is right in the middle of the league at $2 million, and just about everybody is close to that figure.

It is interesting that Oregon's Mark Helfrich is the lowest-paid of the Pac-12's three new coaches, trailing Colorado's Mike MacIntyre and California's Sonny Dykes. And it's obvious that Oregon State's Mike Riley is the biggest bargain in the conference at $1.3 million. Then again, that money goes a long way in Corvallis, Ore., compared with some of the Pac-12's other markets.

And if the $275,000 that Dennis Erickson will make as Utah's co-offensive coordinator seems like a lot, consider that the former Arizona State coach will be earning only about 10 percent of Sarkisian's salary. So while Erickson says he doesn't miss much about being a head coach in dealing with every aspect of a program, there's some compensation for those headaches.

The Pac-12's salary list:

$2.55 million – Washington's Steve Sarkisian.

$2.4 million – USC's Lane Kiffin, UCLA's Jim Mora.

$2.25 million – Washington State's Mike Leach, Stanford's David Shaw.

$2.025 million – Arizona's Rich Rodriguez.

$2 million – Utah's Kyle Whittingham, Arizona State's Todd Graham, Colorado's Mike MacIntyre.

$1.8 million – Oregon's Mark Helfrich.

$1.3 million – Oregon State's Mike Riley.