The highest-paid college football coaches have annual salaries that’ll make anyone’s head spin,
but that’s why they’re put in charge of numerous young men and tasked with shepherding powerhouse programs to perpetual prominence.
While some coaches on this list at the nation’s premier football schools probably aren’t going to surprise, the order may well be a shock to many.
One thing to keep in mind, being among the highest-paid college football coaches doesn’t guarantee job security. From our list in 2021, three prominent names were fired.
Without further ado, here are the highest-paid college football coaches by annual salary as of the most recent season.
This group is compiled from USA Today‘s list, but takes into account coaching changes, compensation information, or lack thereof, and the latest available information.
Highest-paid college football coaches 2022-’23 Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State Cowboys – $7.5 million Billy Napier, Florida Gators – $7.27 million
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa Hawkeyes – $7 million Brent Venables, Oklahoma Sooners – $7 million Mark Stoops, Kentucky Wildcats – $6.76 million
Let’s dive into the highest paid college football coaches in 2023, based on average salary. 15. James Franklin salary: $7 million (Penn State)
14. Jim Harbaugh salary: $7.05 million (Michigan)
13. Luke Fickell salary: $7.8 million (Wisconsin)
12. Mario Cristobal salary: $8 million (Miami)
11. Josh Heupel salary: $9 million
10. Jimbo Fisher salary: $9 million (Texas A&M)
9. Lane Kiffin salary: $9 million (Ole Miss)
8. Matt Rhule salary: $9.25 million (Nebraska)
7. Ryan Day salary: $9.5 million (Ohio State)
6. Mel Tucker salary: $9.5 million (Michigan State)
5. Brian Kelly salary: $9.5 million (LSU)
4. Lincoln Riley salary (estimated): $10-plus million (USC)
3. Kirby Smart salary: $11.25 million (Georgia)
2. Dabo Swinney salary: $11.5 million (Clemson)
1. Nick Saban salary: $11.7 million (Alabama)