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Texas A&M Football

Money paid per victory shows Jimbo Fisher was a bargain in 2020

January 11, 2021
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Jimbo Fisher is a bargain.

That would be debated by the always fiscally conscious national college sports media, which often seems abnormally concerned about Texas A&M’s expenses.

Remember when the price of oil dived? Remember how national writers Stewart Mandell and Barrett Sallee tweeted their concern about how Texas A&M would be able to pay football coach Jimbo Fisher’s $7.5 million annual salary?

Their concern actually came off as joy. But surely that was just a misunderstanding. Oddly, however, they did not seem as concerned how Oklahoma — also an oil-dependent economy — would pay coach Lincoln Riley’s $6.2 salary.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Lincoln Riley’s contract stipulates that Oklahoma must pay him $6.2 million per season.

However, nobody in the national media has appeared more concerned about A&M’s expenses than Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports. He’s often fretted about Fisher’s contract.

Back in October, he pointed out how much Fisher was paid per win.

Oddly, Dodd never seems to bring up the price per win for other college football programs.

But TexAgs will.

Based on 2020 salaries, primarily reported by USA Today and win-loss records compiled this season, Fisher earned $833,333 for each of A&M’s nine victories this season.

That’s a steep price. Still, compared to the other 65 Power 5 coaches, that price is a bargain.

Fisher ranks just 38th in cost per victory among Power 5 coaches. Indeed, 31 Power 5 coaches earned $1 million or more per victory this season.

Of course, these numbers are based on what coaches contracts required prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some coaches, like Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, elected to give some money back to their respective universities. Others had their pay affected by playing a smaller number of games.

As it stands, three coaches were paid more than $3 million without managing victory.

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh was paid $8 million total for just two victories.

The biggest bargain was Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, who reportedly earned $1.8 million this season. The Irish posted 10 wins.

However, Notre Dame is a private university, so it’s not required to reveal its total compensation. He likely made more.

Pay per 2020 victory

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Harbaugh’s Wolverines posted a 2-4 record in a truncated Big Ten slate.

1. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan (2-4), $ 8.0m = $4.0m
2. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt (0-9), $3.5m = $3.5m
3. Les Miles, Kansas (0-9), $3.3m = $3.3m
T4. Dino Babers, Syracuse (1-10), $3.2m = $3.2m
T4. Justin Wilcox, Cal (1-3), $3.2m = $3.2m
T4. Kevin Sumlin, Arizona (0-5), $3.2m = $3.2m
7. Nick Rolovich, Washington State (1-3), $2.8m = $2.8m
8. Mel Tucker, Michigan State (2-5), $5.0m = $2.5m
9. Jeff Brohm, Purdue (2-4), $4.8m = $2.4m
10. Will Muschamp, South Carolina (2-8), $4.3m =$2.15m

11. Dave Aranda, Baylor (2-7), $4m = $2m*
12. Lovie Smith, Illinois (2-6), $3.8m = $1.9m
13. Herm Edwards, Arizona State (2-2), $3.6m = $1.8m
14. James Franklin, Penn State (4-5), $6.7m = $1.675m
15. Ed Orgeron, LSU (5-5), $8.25m = $1.65m
16. Scott Frost, Nebraska (3-5), $4.8 = $1.6m
17. Kyle Whittingham, Utah (3-2), $4.6m = $1.533m
18. Chip Kelly, UCLA (3-4), $4.3m = $1.433
19. P.J. Fleck, Minnesota (3-4), $4.2m = $1.4m
20. David Cutcliffe, Duke (2-9), $2.7m = $1.35m

21. Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee (3-7), $3.8 = $1.266m
T22. Mike Leach, Mississippi St. (4-7), $5.0m = $1.25m
T22. Greg Schiano, Rutgers (3-7), $3.7m = $1.233m
T24. Mike Locksley, Maryland (2-3), $2.4m = $1.2m
T24. David Shaw, Stanford (4-2), $4.8m = $1.2m
26. Mike Norvell, Florida State (3-6), $3.5m = $1,166m
27. Gus Malzahn, Auburn (6-5), $6.9m = $1.15m
28. Jonathan Smith, Oregon State (2-5), $2.2m = $1.1m
29. Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech (3-7), $3.1m = $1.033m
30. Gary Patterson, TCU (6-4), $6.1m = $1.016m

31. Mark Stoops, Kentucky (5-6), $5.0m = $1.0m
32. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin (4-3), $3.9m = $975,000
T33. Jimmy Lake, Washington (3-1), $2.9m = $966,666
T33. Sam Pittman, Arkansas (3-7), $2.9m = $966,666
35. Clay Helton, USC (5-1), $4.5m = $900,000
36. Kirby Smart, Georgia (8-2), $6.8m = 850,000
37. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech (5-6), $4.2m = $840,000
38. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M (9-1), $7.5m = $833,333
39. Dabo Swinney, Clemson (10-2), $8.3m = $830,000
40. Tom Herman, Texas (7-3), $5.8m = $828,571

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Day’s Buckeyes will face Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide for the national title on Monday. The two ranked 41st and 50th, respectively in money/win in 2020.

41. Ryan Day, Ohio State (7-0), $5.6m = $800,000
42. Eli Drinkwitz, Missouri (5-5), $3.9m = $780,000
43. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa (6-2), $4.6m = $766,666
44. Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia (5-5), $3.8m = $760,000
T45. Karl Dorrell, Colorado (4-2), $3.0m = $750,000
T45. Dan Mullen, Florida (8-4), $6.0m = 750,000
T45. Scott Satterfield, Louisville (4-7), $3.0m = $750,000
48. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern (7-2), $5.2m = $742,857
49. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss (5-5), $3.7m = $740,000
T50. Nick Saban, Alabama (13-0), $9.1m = $700,000
T50. Matt Wells, Texas Tech (4-6), $2.8m = $700,000

52. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma (9-2), $6.2m = 688,888
53. Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh (6-5), $4.0m = $666,666
54. Mario Cristobal, Oregon (4-3), $2.5m = $625,000
55. Tom Allen, Indiana (6-2), $3.7m = $616,666
T56. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest (4-5), $2.3m = $575,000
T56. Chris Klieman, Kansas State (4-6), $2.3m = $575,000
58. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State (8-3), $4.1m = $512,500
59. Jeff Hafley, Boston College (6-5), $3.0m = $500,000
60. Neal Brown, West Virginia (6-4), $2.9m = $483,333

61. Mack Brown, North Carolina (8-4), $3.4m = $425,000
T62. Manny Diaz, Miami (8-3), $3.1m = $387,500
T62. Dave Dorean, NC State (8-4), $3.1m = $387,500
64. Matt Campbell, Iowa State (9-3), $3.4m = $377,777
65. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame (10-2), $1.8m = $180,000

* — Aranda’s salary was not released, but he’s thought to earn at least $4 million. He previously earned $2.5 as defensive coordinator at LSU. His predecessor at Baylor Matt Ruhle earned $4 million.

Discussion from...

Money paid per victory shows Jimbo Fisher was a bargain in 2020

15,635 Views | 19 Replies | Last: 3 days ago by agent-maroon
Agsuffering@bulaw
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Those who hated us for hiring Jimbo must choke on this truth! Keep shoving it down their throat, OB!
northeastag
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AG
Stop. Please, just stop.

How he ranks amongst a peer group of grossly overpaid employees is irrelevant. I heard the same argument over CEO pay for years before I retired. It was ridiculous for them, and it's ridiculous for football coaches.
Houstonag
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AG
  • Good report. The 10 year contract was the right decision. It did two things. Gives Fisher a good number for 10 years and keeps others from going after him. It was good decision when you can hire an established and successful coach.
Hart-J hall
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Mathematically Derek Mason should be #1. $3.5M/(wins approach 0)=$gazillion
Dario
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AG
Good article.

It's honestly silly that the national media made this such a huge talking point to begin with. This article is a great reminder of just how much value we are getting out of Jimbo being our HC.
Traveler
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AG
Hart-J hall said:

Mathematically Derek Mason should be #1. $3.5M/(wins approach 0)=$gazillion


Yeah. Olin needs to check his math. Couple coaches making $infinity per win.

Hard to imagine that Coach Sumlin got a raise when he left here; the man indeed has a hell of an agent.
Haricougar
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AG
northeastag said:

Stop. Please, just stop.

How he ranks amongst a peer group of grossly overpaid employees is irrelevant. I heard the same argument over CEO pay for years before I retired. It was ridiculous for them, and it's ridiculous for football coaches.


It's a capitalist system. No one puts a gun to the universities. They receive what the market will pay.
NumberEinAg
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AG
Excellent article and point Olin! Keep "exposing" the truth. Gig'em!!
"They who would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
Z Team
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AG
And he keeps becoming a better bargain each year as he wins more games and others contracts come up for renewal/raises and his is locked in. 7.5 was a high salary but it won't be in 7 years.


Also have to not compare the additional championship game in the comparison.
fav13andac1)c
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AG
Mad respect for the exposition Olin
94chem
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Gary Patterson at 6.1. Wow.
TopoTacos
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AG
It's an interesting metric, and props for putting in the legwork on salaries and comparison therein...

But at the end of the day it (mostly) ain't my money so who cares? Just win.
SchizoAg
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AG
I would like to see this weighted by the "quality" of victories. Beating Florida should be worth a lot more than beating, say, Kansas.
cavscout96
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AG
Haricougar said:

northeastag said:

Stop. Please, just stop.

How he ranks amongst a peer group of grossly overpaid employees is irrelevant. I heard the same argument over CEO pay for years before I retired. It was ridiculous for them, and it's ridiculous for football coaches.


It's a capitalist system. No one puts a gun to the universities. They receive what the market will pay.
JustisWalkert
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AG
Texas should have kept Tom Herman. He's a bigger bargain than Jimbo Fisher.
DuncanLEO
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JustisWalkert said:

Texas should have kept Tom Herman. He's a bigger bargain than Jimbo Fisher.
Which is kind of why this analysis, while entertaining, isn't all that helpful. Why Jimbo is a bargain, is that he lost 1 game in a full SEC schedule with a salary within budget, and within scope of coaches pay. Sure, if he paid $4m per year that would be more of a bargain, but we are in the business of winning games and not hiring the cheapest resource.

And of course, OB always putting out on point and fun content.
ATL Aggie
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AG
Brian Kelley only makes $1.8M?! How is it he hasnt been money whipped by another program? I suspect his salary is understated.
Slamn Sharpe
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northeastag said:

Stop. Please, just stop.

How he ranks amongst a peer group of grossly overpaid employees is irrelevant. I heard the same argument over CEO pay for years before I retired. It was ridiculous for them, and it's ridiculous for football coaches.


Or you could just not read these threads
agent-maroon
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AG
ATL Aggie said:

Brian Kelley only makes $1.8M?! How is it he hasnt been money whipped by another program? I suspect his salary is understated.
Or maybe nobody else really thinks that he is worth more than that? ND doesn't have much hardware to show from his tenure. Their playoff appearances are mostly ND being propped up by the media reliving the glory days from long ago
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