We all know Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn make a lot of money — $7 million for Saban and $3.85 million for Malzahn, respectively. And so do members of their staffs, according to USA Today’s just-released list of college football’s highest paid assistant coaches.
Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is the nation’s second-highest paid assistant at $1.35 million, coming in at just $13,000 less than the highest paid assistant, Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster.
Alabama has three coaches in the top 50 and seven assistant coaches ranked in the top 100 in overall salary, with linebackers coach Kevin Steele at No. 21 making $702,750 a year, and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin ranked No. 23, making $680,000.
Auburn has six of its assistants in the top 100 nationally, with recently fired defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson making the most of any with $850,000, which put him No. 14 in 2014. Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner, cornerbacks coach Melvin Smith and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee all make $600,000 and are ranked No. 34, 36 and 37, respectively.
With the Tigers’ vacancy at defensive coordinator, it will be interesting to see if Auburn offers Kirby Smart-type money to their top choice: former Florida head coach and former Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.
Alabama is second nationally behind LSU in total staff pay — excluding Saban’s contract — with a payroll of $5.2 million, and Auburn is third with a total staff pay of $4.6 million.
Check out the salary ranks of the Alabama and Auburn staff below. To see the entire list of assistant coach salaries, head over to USA Today.