War Machine Dawg suggested that someone write an article about football coaches getting paid based on incentives, and not a yearly salary. The idea was interesting, so I came up with a system where coaches would mostly receive pay based on how their teams performed.
I looked up the incentives for the contracts of each SEC head coach using this website. A lot of coaches get incentives for simply not getting fired or leaving. If you take out those incentives, incentives are usually about 25% of their total contract.
I made up an incentive based system where coaches would all receive 1 million a year, but would get Saban like pay for getting all of the possible incentives.
|Bowl game appearance||600,000|
|Top 4 Bowl Game (or making playoffs)||1,200,000|
|Academic progress rate above 930||300,000|
|Academic progress rate top 3 in SEC||600,000|
|Conference wins||100,000 each|
|Top 25 finish in College Playoff Poll||300,000|
|SEC Coach of the Year Award||500,000|
What the coaches made in guaranteed pay last season is compared to what they would have made under the system I created above is in the table below, which includes the one million in guaranteed pay. The actual guaranteed pay listed for the coaches isn't exact, but it is close enough. The numbers listed are by millions. For Academic Progress rate, I used their scores from last year.
|Coach||Guaranteed Salary||Incentive System Salary||Difference|
|Saban||6.9||6.0, 7.2 if Alabama wins CFP||-.9 or .3|
- Coaches wouldn't want this exact system, because almost all of them would have made less money.
- Every coach got the 930 or higher Academic Progress Rate bonus. Mason, Saban, and Pinkel got the $600,000 top three Academic Progress Rate bonus. Spurrier missed it by a point. I based it off the multi-year APR, not the one year score. This is one bonus where it would pay to be at Vanderbilt.
- This system didn't significantly reward coaches for getting nine wins instead of six. Other than the conference wins bonus, incentives for coaches seem to be all about winning championships. If I wanted to adjust the system to better reflect how much coaches make, I would make the conference win bonus around $250,000.
- I was a little surprised that I didn't see a rivalry game win bonus in any of the contracts I looked at.
- Under this system, coaches might be much less reluctant to take a difficult job. It doesn't take into account the resources a school has, or if their school is in a talent rich area.