Big money can bring big-time coaches.
Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long is leading the Razorbacks' search for a new coach.
That’s no huge secret, but we’re not just talking about head coaches.
As Arkansas conducts its search for a new football coach, there are other things to consider from a financial standpoint other than just how much the head coach makes – namely, assistant coaches’ salaries and contracts.
The Razorbacks have more money to spend than some when the coaching carousel starts turning. That’s because they have no buyout to pay. John L. Smith’s 10-month contract is up after the season, and Bobby Petrino was fired for cause, meaning he gets nothing from the UA.
But for the sake of comparison, let’s take a look at the highest-paid guy on our coaching hot board, Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy.
Gundy is making $3.275 million this season as coach of the Cowboys, and his assistants are bringing in some big bucks, too. According to the Tulsa World, Oklahoma State will be paying $6.28 million to its football coaches in 2012, and that includes Gundy’s salary.
Arkansas will pay its coaches base salaries of a combined $3.35 million in 2012, including Smith’s $850,000, according to salary figures released this year.
Depending on how their contracts are set up, it could cost the Hogs some serious bucks if Gundy, who has a $3 million buyout, were hired and wanted to bring his current staff with him.
And what if he took the Arkansas job and Oklahoma State decided to hire from within – maybe promote offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who’s already making $600,000 as an assistant? Or what if the new coach wanted to keep some of the old staff members? Then, it might come down to money for assistants, too.
Based on the Tulsa World’s figures and figures released by the UA, let’s look at what the Oklahoma State staff will make in 2012 in comparison to Arkansas’ staff (Note that Arkansas' figures are not based on reworked contracts that include longevity bonuses for assistant coaches who complete the season. Those bonuses for each coach are 25-33 percent of the current salary.):
Mike Gundy, head coach – $3.275 million
Todd Monken, offensive coordinator – $600,000
Joe Wickline, offensive line – $440,000
Bill Young, defensive coordinator – $430,000
Glenn Spencer, co-defensive coordinator/linebackers – $360,000
Doug Meachem, receivers – $305,000
Jason Jones, cornerbacks – $240,000
Kasey Dunn, receivers – $210,000
Jemal Singleton, running backs – $210,000
Van Malone, safeties – $210,000
John L. Smith, head coach – $850,000 (10-month contract)
Paul Haynes, defensive coordinator – $475,000
Paul Petrinio, offensive coordinator – $475,000
Taver Johnson, asst. head coach/linebackers – $275,000
Chrks Klenakis, offensive line – $266,420
Steve Caldwell, defensive ends/special teams – $257,000
Bobby Allen, defensive backs – $235,800
Kris Cinkovich, receivers – $214,800
Tim Horton, running backs/recruiting coordinator – $205,000
Kevin Peoples, defensive tackles – $200,000
Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long has some must-see TV tonight.
The matchup might have lost a little luster when Cincinnati lost 29-23 at Toledo last Saturday, but Louisville remains unbeaten. This is the Cardinals’ last big test until they face Rutgers in the regular-season finale.
Strong’s team, which is ranked 16th in the BCS Standings and the Associated Press poll, isn’t a dominating one on paper. The Cardinals (7-0, 2-0 Big East) rank in the top 30 nationally in just one of the 16 major statistical categories – passing efficiency (17th). Four of their wins have been by seven points or less, including last week’s surprising difficult 27-25 victory at home over struggling South Florida.
Cincinnati (5-1, 1-0) has had an issue with slow starts and dropped out of the rankings with the road loss. In the 16 major stat categories, the Bearcats are in the top 25 in eight of them, including 16th in rushing offense, 20th in scoring defense and 24th in total offense and passing efficiency.
Players to watch: Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (242.0 passing yards per game, 11 TDs this season vs. 3 INTs) and defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin (4.5 sacks); Cincinnati running back George Winn (101.2 rushing yards per game, 4 TDs) and quarterback Munchie Legaux (239.2 passing yards per game, 12 TDs, 5 INTs; 44 rushing yards per game, 3 TDs).
Louisville opened as a six-point favorite, but the line has dropped to 3 1/2 points. Cincinnati has won four straight in the series. The last time Louisville was 8-0 was 1925.
Other games to keep an eye on
There’s one other matchup this weekend between teams whose coaches are on our hot board. Mike Gundy leads the Oklahoma State Cowboys against Gary Patterson’s TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Central in Stillwater, Okla. FSN will televise the game.
Oklahoma State (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) is a seven-point favorite despite another injury at the quarterback position. Talented redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh is out for the year with an injury. Gundy is hopeful that true freshman Wes Lunt will be able to start Saturday. Lunt began the season as a starter before suffering a knee injury.
TCU (5-2, 2-2) has lost two of its past three games since starting quarterback Casey Pachall was suspended indefinitely.
Other big games involving coaches on the hot board:
• Kirby Smart, Alabama defensive coordinator, and the top-ranked Crimson Tide host No. 11 Mississippi State on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Central. The game will be televised by ESPN.
• Tommy Tubervile, Texas Tech head coach, leads the 14th-ranked Red Raiders against No. 3 Kansas State on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Central. The game will be televised by Fox.