A big topic of conversation when it comes to the coaching carousel is the contract buyouts for college football head coaches. On Wednesday, USA Today released the most recent figures of both coaches’ salaries and buyouts, and there are some pretty eye-opening numbers.
The man with the biggest buyout? You’d probably assume it’s Alabama head coach Nick Saban, right? Nope — Clemson’s Dabo Swinney has a whopping $40 million buyout. Right behind Swinney is Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, at $39.3 million. Washington’s Chris Peterson is at $30.6 million, and Saban checks in at $26.9 million.
When it comes to salaries, Saban leads the pack, making $11.1 million, a figure that was previously reported in May. He signed a contract signing bonus with his extension that earned him an extra $4 million this season. Swinney’s salary is at $8.5 million, and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is right at $7 million.
Other notable buyouts from coaches that could be considered on the hot seat include Butch Jones’ $8.1 million, Kevin Sumlin’s $10.4 million, Bret Bielema’s $5.8 million, and Gus Malzahn’s $6.8 million.
The top 25 list of salaries, along with buyouts, can be seen below.
Top 25 CFB coaches buyouts and salaries
|Coach||Total Salary||Buyout (As of 12/2017)|
|Nick Saban, Alabama||$11,132,000||$26,900,000|
|Dabo Swinney, Clemson||$8,526,800||$40,000,000|
|Jim Harbaugh, Michigan||$7,004,000||$20,555,556|
|Urban Meyer, Ohio State||$6,431,240||$21,345,100|
|Jimbo Fisher, Florida State||$5,700,000||$39,312,500|
|David Shaw, Stanford||$5,680,441||—|
|Rich Rodriguez, Arizona||$6,031,563||$6,487,500|
|Tom Herman, Texas||$5,486,316||$20,416,667|
|Gary Patterson, TCU||$5,104,077||—|
|Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M||$5,000,000||$10,416,667|
|Gus Malzahn, Auburn||$4,726,960||$6,898,958|
|James Franklin, Penn State||$4,600,000||$21,858,333|
|Kirk Ferentz, Iowa||$4,550,000||$22,537,500|
|Dan Mullen, Mississippi State||$4,500,000||—|
|Jim McElwain, Florida||$4,457,400||$12,916,668|
|Mark Dantonio, Michigan State||$4,390,492||$7,000,000|
|Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State||$4,200,000||$13,800,000|
|Bret Bielema, Arkansas||$4,245,000||$5,874,227|
|Chris Petersen, Washington||$4,127,500||$30,671,875|
|Butch Jones, Tennessee||$4,110,000||$8,125,000|
|Bobby Petrino, Louisville||$3,930,434||$13,943,750|
|Kirby Smart, Georgia||$3,753,600||$10,800,000|
|Mark Stoops, Kentucky||$3,763,600||$14,765,625|
|Kyle Whittingham, Utah||$3,687,917||$12,250,000|
Click here to see the full USA Today list of head coaches’ salaries and buyouts.