The University of Alabama will pay its 10 football assistants $7.541 million in basic annual compensation for the 2019 season, according to contracts approved Wednesday by the university board of trustees’ compensation committee.
That represents an increase of more than $1.4 million over what Alabama paid its assistants last season and likely will give the school the largest 2019 assistant-coach payroll among all FBS public schools.
In addition the basic pay, Alabama agreed to pay nearly $565,000 in buyouts on behalf of four assistants it hired from other schools — all members of the Southeastern Conference — as part of an overhaul of last season’s staff.
Also, new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is receiving a $500,000 loan that is set to be forgiven by 50% if he still holds that job on national Letter-of-Intent signing day in February 2021 and by 50% if he holds the job at the end of the 2021 season or on signing day in February 2022.
Sarkisian, who has re-joined Alabama after working as the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator last season, will make $1.55 million this season. Pete Golding, who was promoted to defensive coordinator, will be paid $1.1 million.
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Among elite-level schools that have made public their full pay structures for the 2019 season, Alabama will be paying more in basic annual compensation than Clemson ($7.395 million) or Ohio State ($7.245 million).
Per contract terms that were in effect for Alabama’s staff last season, the university was due to recover some money from buyouts it was set to be owed in connection with the departures of coaches, including $220,000 from former defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi’s move to become the Cleveland Browns’ defensive line coach.
Every member of Alabama’s 2019 staff will be paid at least $450,000 and all but one will be paid at least $525,000. Last season, five Alabama assistants were making less than $500,000 annually.
–Associate defensive coordinator and safeties coach Charles Kelly will make $800,000, and Alabama is paying just over $110,000 to cover the buyout he owed Tennessee.
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–Defensive line coach Brian Baker will make $750,000, and Alabama is paying nearly $200,000 for the buyout he owed Mississippi State.
–Offensive line coach Kyle Flood and outside linebackers coach Sal Sunseri each will make $650,000, and Alabama is paying nearly $120,000 for a buyout Sunseri owed Florida.
The other new hire getting a buyout covered is running backs coach Charles Huff, who is getting $525,000 from Alabama and getting coverage of the nearly $140,000 he owed for leaving Mississippi State.
Alabama’s football strength coach Scott Cochran, annually one of the nation’s highest-paid in that role, will make $595,000 in 2019. He will be surpassed by Clemson’s Joey Batson, who was given a $100,000 raise to $600,000.
Contributing: Manie Robinson of The Greenville (S.C.) News