The Florida Gators were far from thrifty in ridding themselves of Will Muschamp and acquiring the services of head coach Jim McElwain, spending millions in buyout monies in order to change the direction of the football program and making McElwain the 17th highest-paid coach in the nation at nearly $4 million in 2015 (bonus included).
Florida also spent millions of dollars to build the Gators an indoor practice facility in the offseason, one larger than expected and constructed in a shorter window of time than initially planned – at McElwain’s request.
But when it comes to the contracts of its assistant coaches, Florida ranks right in the middle of the Southeastern Conference, according to an annual database created by USA Today.
Per the database, most of which OnlyGators.com confirmed via copies of the staff’s contracts (USA Today chooses which bonuses and revenue sources it factors in or excludes), Gators assistants earn $3.73 million per season, less than six other SEC teams and more than the bottom half of the league.
Compared to the top three teams, which also lead the national list, Florida’s assistants are earning approximately $1.5 million less annually.
1. LSU – $5.47 million
2. Auburn – $5.34M million
3. Alabama – $5.23 million
4. Georgia – $4.81 million
5. Texas A&M – $4.42 million
6. Clemson – $4.33 million
7. Florida State – $4.29 million
8. Michigan – $4.25 million
9. Ohio State – $4.02 million
10. South Carolina – $4.00 million
11. UCLA – $3.97 million
12. Texas – $3.91 million
13. Louisville – $3.78 million
14. Oklahoma – $3.77 million
15. Florida – $3.73 million
Individually, based on total pay, defensive coordinator Geoff Collins (29th), co-coordinator Randy Shannon (42nd) and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier (75th) rank among the top 75 assistants.
Worth considering regarding McElwain’s staff is the relative youth of many of his position coaches. McElwain searched for dedicated assistants that plan to stay with the Gators for a while to avoid the constant coaching changes that occurred annually under Florida’s last regime.
Furthermore, veteran offensive line coach Mike Summers is the lowest-paid Gators assistant, though it is believed he is still earning money from a previous position and is likely due for a raise at some point considering how tremendous of a job he’s done rebuilding and making due with a shaky unit over the last two seasons.
The initial version of USA Today’s database did not include all monies earned by Florida’s assistants. As such, OnlyGators.com‘s tweet about the Gators staff being the 20th highest paid nationally and 10th highest paid in the SEC has been redacted. Instead, they rank 15th and seventh, respectively.