Coaches at the FBS level are expected to do a lot of things: manage, game plan, inspire, coach, recruit, hobnob, shill. You name it, if it helps win games, coaches will do it. Some coaches are just naturally better at it than others. Those others?
They coach at Idaho.
The value of a good head coach cannot be overstated. Some coaches are genuinely worth their contracts. Try as you might to dislike him, Nick Saban at Alabama has had his team in the last two college football playoffs. Not to mention the three titles he already has at 'Bama. Because of that success he pulls in about a cool $7 million. Priorities are priorities. He's earned his money.
But you know what else is important? The underlings who deal with the minutia. The assistant coaches. Future (maybe?) head coaches with eyes for talent and recruiting. The guys who deal with the play calling and working with the talent they have.
The USA Today has put out an assistant coaching salary list. An ever useful list for those who like to compare numbers and see which school is making the investment, and which schools are Idaho.
So where does Boise State stack up?
The complete list is kind of long. So the graph below is just the top ten individual coaches in the Mountain West. Note: Air Force and Hawaii, while included on the list, do not have all of their individual coaches compensations included in their entirety.
So of the top ten compensated assistant coaches in the MWC, Boise State has five. Not a wonder that Colorado State, and that McElwain buyout money, are able to throw a lot of money at Will Friend.
Are we surprised that Boise State appears this many times in the top ten?
As for total dollars invested in the assistant staff, again, Boise State has the most in the Mountain West with $2.1 million. (Yes. Hawaii is missing as the data was not in the USA Today info.)
Nothing too surprising here. It is not a wonder that Boise State has invested heavily in the football program. The return on investment has probably done Boise State well.
For comparisons sake, where does Boise State stack up nationally?
LSU is number one in total assistant spending with $5.4 million. Well over twice what Boise State has to offer its assistants. (Course, this is coming from a school who could almost literally file bankruptcy. And they wanted to spend $15 million to buyout Les Miles. Again. Priorities.)
The lowest payroll for assistants? New Mexico State who clocks in at $646k. Will Muschamp (before accepting his new position at South Carolina) could have, literally, paid the entire NMSU staff and STILL be one of the highest paid assistants in college football.
Of the 128 FBS level schools, Boise State ranks 52. That is just below Iowa State and right above Memphis.
Some P5 schools Boise State outspends: North Carolina, Illinois.
G5 schools that spend more than Boise State: Army, Central Florida (which is hilarious since they went 0-12).
It is also no wonder that the current University of Washington coach pushed so much for assistant coaches salaries. Coach Harsin would do just as well to push for higher, or more competitive, wages for his staff. As a premium is placed on the assistant coaches to "be better" and more is expected of them, the higher we will see the wages go. At this point, Boise State will be working to keep up.
Nothing should surprise any readers here. But what other schools around Boise State surprise you? Any other assistants pop out that could be construed as "under" paid? Over? Let me know!