Washington's Steve Sarkisian highest-paid coach
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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 â Washington's Steve Sarkisian.
$2.4 million â USC's Lane Kiffin, UCLA's Jim Mora.
$2.25 million â Washington State's Mike Leach, Stanford's David Shaw.
$2.025 million â Arizona's Rich Rodriguez.
$2 million â Utah's Kyle Whittingham, Arizona State's Todd Graham, Colorado's Mike MacIntyre.
$1.8 million â Oregon's Mark Helfrich.
$1.3 million â Oregon State's Mike Riley.