"I don't hire anybody not brighter than I am. If they're not smarter than me, I don't need them." - Paul W. Bryant
The ability of a head coach to succeed in college football often has less to do with what players he puts on the field than the coaches he assembles to lead them. The sheer size of a successful program like Alabama makes it impossible for one coach to be involved in every aspect of the teams preparation.
And once a team starts winning with regularity, those assistants become highly coveted by other programs wanting to replicate that success. Nick Saban is certainly aware of this and every year he has successfully lobbied the University of Alabama trustees for raised to ensure the retention of his staff.
"Our guys do a great job, and they should be compensated for it," he said in April after the latest raises were approved. "I’m pleased that we’re in a position that we can pay them what they’re worth."
The SEC has seen the pay for assistants balloon dramatically in recent years and the growth isn't confined to the conference. The trend, in turn, has prompted folks such as The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics to begin wringing their hands about how all this filthy lucre is destroying the sport.
In a report released last week the group bemoaned the increasing amount of athletic spending by NCAA football bowl championship series schools in comparison to academics (and conveniently overlooked the fact that the most profitable programs, such as Alabama's, give funding back to the academic side of the institution).
So, in an effort to keep the record straight, I've culled through various reports on the salaries for Alabama's coaching staff and collected the numbers I could find into one handy chart.
"Trustees approve raises for five Tide assistant football coaches" - The Mobile Press-Register, April 22, 2010
"2009 NCAA Football Coaches Contracts" - USA Today, Nov. 9, 2009
"Alabama football assistant coaches receive raises" - The Birmingham News, March 30, 2009
"Tide football staff gets pay increases" - The Huntsville Times, March 20, 2008