With a 56% raise, Ute defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley joins Andy Ludwig among Pac-12’s highest-paid assistant coaches

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley yells out to his players as the Utah Utes hold their first of two major scrimmages of spring practice at Rice Eccles stadium on Saturday, March 30, 2019, prior to the April 13 Red-White Game.

In the process of landing Andy Ludwig as the football program’s offensive coordinator, the University of Utah has awarded defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley a matching salary.

Scalley received a 56% raise to $820,000 annually in the two-year contract he signed Feb. 1, three weeks after Ludwig’s arrival on campus, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned.

Utah typically doesn’t make any announcement about contract agreements for assistant coaches in any sport. In response to The Tribune’s open records request dated May 15, the university initially provided the two-year contract Scalley signed in 2018, worth $525,000 annually.

Former Ute offensive coordinator Troy Taylor, now Sacramento State’s head coach, also earned $525,000 in 2018; Utah was financially aggressive in attracting Ludwig from Vanderbilt of the Southeastern Conference. Scalley’s new two-year deal replaces the contract that was due to expire in January 2020 and makes him one of the top five highest-paid assistant coaches among the 10 public schools in the Pac-12.

Washington defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake will make $1.4 million in 2019, according to the Seattle Times. Lake’s salary presumably is the highest for an assistant coach in the conference, including private schools USC and Stanford that are not subject to open records laws.


The top published salaries in 2019 for Pac-12 assistant football coaches:

$1.4 million – Washington defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake.

$950,000 – Washington defensive line coach Pete Kwiatkowski.

$825,000 – Oregon offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo.

$820,000 – Utah offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig and defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley.

Scalley’s contract differs only slightly from Ludwig’s three-year deal, aside from the shorter duration. He’s scheduled to be paid $820,000 in each of the two years, while Ludwig will receive $15,000 raises annually. Each coach can earn an extra month’s pay if the Utes play in a bowl game. Scalley would owe Utah a $400,000 buyout if he takes another coaching job before Jan. 31, 2021.

Utah athletic director Mark Harlan gave coach Kyle Whittingham a new five-year contract in March, having already invested heavily in Whittingham's coordinators. Along with expanding Rice-Stadium, increased coaching salaries are part of Harlan's effort to build Utah's program to a College Football Playoff level, as other Pac-12 schools also are attempting to do.

Beyond the leaguewide strategy, “That is incumbent on each individual institution, to get better,” Harlan said Thursday.

A star of Utah’s unbeaten 2004 team as a defensive back, Scalley became a full-time safeties coach for the Utes in 2008. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2016, after John Pease retired.

Scalley has appeared to take more responsibility for the defense since that season, when Whittingham carried a play-call sheet on the sideline. Utah's defense ranked second in the Pac-12 last year, allowing 316.3 yards per game and holding Washington to three offensive points in a 10-3 loss in the conference championship game.

Scalley will have seven returning defensive starters in 2019, including All-Pac-12 defensive linemen Bradlee Anae and Leki Fotu, and cornerback Jaylon Johnson. Julian Blackmon, a second-team all-conference cornerback, has moved to safety.