College Football Coaching Salaries: Big 12

Last Updated on February 21, 2024

While there are no new head coaches in the Big 12 for the 2023 football season, it didn’t make last offseason any less historic. After welcoming in Central Florida, Cincinnati, Houston and BYU for the 2023 season, the conference announced that Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State would join the league in 2024.

But how well are the current coaches compensated? This article will breaks down and examine the salaries of all the head coaches in the Big 12 heading into 2023.

Brent Venables, University of Oklahoma

When Lincoln Riley bolted Norman for Southern California, Oklahoma opted to hire Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as its new head coach. Venables will be one of the best-paid coaches in football, with a $6.4 annual salary in 2022 and an average annual value of $7 million.

Venables will have plenty of resources at his disposal, as well — both the Sooners’ offensive and defensive coordinators will have salaries at $1.8 million or more in 2022.

Sonny Dykes, Texas Christian University

The university’s decision to sign former Cal coach Sonny Dykes to a six-year contract in November 2021 paid off in his first season on campus. Not only did the Horned Frogs win thirteen games for the first time since 2010, but they reached the College Football Playoff for the first time in program history.

As a private institution, TCU does not release the exact terms of the coaching contracts.

Steve Sarkisian, University of Texas

The Longhorns lured Steve Sarkisian away from Alabama after the offensive coordinator’s offense put up an astounding 48.5 points per game and ranked fourth in the nation in total offense. Originally guaranteed $34,200,000 over a six-year contract, Sarkisian received a four-year contract extension and significant pay raise in January and February 2024, making him one of the nation’s highest-paid coaches.

According to Mark Schlabach of ESPN, under the agreed-upon terms, Sarkisian will make $10.3 million in 2024 and receive a pay raise of $100,000 in each of the following six seasons. That would put Sarkisian in line to make $10.9 million in 2030.

Sarkisian’s initial contract made him $5,200,000 in his first year in Austin with a guaranteed $200,000 annual raise. An interesting clause in Sarkisian’s contract was that the head coach would earn a one-time payment of $1,200,000 if he is still in Austin after 2024.

Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State made an impressive run to the Big 12 Championship, and one of the effects of the success was a reworked contract for Mike Gundy.

According to the new terms, Gundy receives a million-dollar raise in annual salary to boost his annual compensation to $7.5 million. The contract figure makes Gundy the highest-paid coach in the Big 12 conference.

Matt Campbell, Iowa State University

Campbell has resurrected the Cyclone Football program since his arrival in 2016 with the Cyclones recording their first conference championship appearance in 2020. With Iowa State’s unexpected success, many expected Campbell to explore more other options in the coaching carousel, but the Iowa State locked their man up long-term in March, signing Campbell to a contract extension that runs through the 2028 season.

Campbell will earn $4 million yearly, and to ensure Campbell’s commitment to the program, the Cyclones added a clause that requires Campbell to pay $4 million if he leaves the program before 2028. Campbell also earns a $250,000 bonus every year the Cyclones win seven or more games.

Neal Brown, West Virginia University

West Virginia signed Neal Brown to a six-year deal at the beginning of 2019 worth a total of $19 million which averages out to $3.166 million per season. In April 2021, WVU announced a two-year contract extension that will keep Brown at the helm through 2026. His six-year contract is now worth $23.85 million, with an average yearly salary of $3.975 million.

Brown’s new contract is a $700,000 annual increase from his previous contract and Brown also has the opportunity to make up to up to $ 1.15 million annually in bonuses based off team success.

Joey McGuire, Texas Tech University

Texas Tech is another Big 12 school in Texas that switched things up at the head coaching position this year, going with former Baylor assistant Joey McGuire for its top spot.

McGuire signed a six-year deal worth over $20 million, with a 2022 compensation of $3 million. He will also have access to a pool for assistant coaching salaries of $4.8 million.

Lance Leipold, Kansas University

The Jayhawks hired former Buffalo Head Coach Lance Leipold to a six-year deal in 2021, and the union has been a major success for a program that ranked at the bottom of the Big 12 on an annual basis.

In May, Kansas agreed to a one-year extension with Leipold, with his final year earnings reaching $3.5 million. The extension also raises the annual average value, which increases to $2.6 million.

Chris Kleiman, Kansas State University

Kleiman became the head coach of the Wildcats after many successful seasons at North Dakota State University. Kleiman’s deal runs for six years and when factoring in the annual raise, totals around $16,900,000. His deal is also heavily based off bonuses, which based off team performance can be up to $1,075,000.

Dave Aranda, Baylor University

The contract of Dave Aranda at Baylor University is not publicly released due to the fact the school is a private university, though Aranda signed an extension in the offseason that should keep him under contract until 2029.

Willie Fritz, University of Houston

Willie Fritz, a 63-year old with 31 years of head coaching experience, most recently at Tulane University, was named the 16th head coach in program history in December 2023. Fritz replaced Dana Holgorsen, who was relieved of his duties at the conclusion of the 2023 season.

Fritz was signed to a 5-year, $22.5 million contract with a base salary of $4.5 million per year. This is slight increase from the $4.3 million salary that Holgorsen made in his final season on campus. Fritz’s contract includes a $19 million buy out in the event that Fritz is let go prior to Dec. 31, 2026. Similarity, Fritz would owe the school $19 million if he were to leave prior to Dec. 31, 2026.

Gus Malzahn, University of Central Florida

Midway through the 2023 season, Gus Malzahn agreed to a contract extension at UCF through the 2027 season. The head coach also received a pay raise up to $4 million per year, which increases to $5.5 million annually in 2026. At the time, Malzahn was the lowest paid Big 12 coach.

Malzahn will make $75,000 for an appearance in the Big 12 Championship and $100,000 for a CFP-affiliated bowl victory.

Scott Satterfield, University of Cincinnati

Scott Satterfield was named the 43rd head coach in program history on Dec. 5, 2022. The former Louisville head coach signed a six-year, worth $22.5 million. Satterfield made $3.5 million in his first season on campus, and has received has an annual increase of $100,000 in his contract every year.

Kalani Sitake, Brigham Young University

The 48-year old Sitake is 61-41 in his eight seasons at the helm of BYU football. As a private university, the school does not have to release the details of its head coach’s contracts.

We’re adding more college football coaching salaries from other conferences here.

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