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Kiffin has sure proved he's worth more than Alabama's paying him

More Money for Most Assistants, But None for Kiffin. Why?

By: Larry Burton

Looking at the salaries that assistant coaches make is interesting. Clearly seniority doesn’t matter, if so Bobby Williams (Alabama’s tight ends / special teams coach) would be one of the highest paid assistants.

Pay is clearly based on what the expected results from your work will produce on the field for the most part but not always. Some coaches trade higher pay for longer contracts and job security. But for the most part, you’re paid what the market says you’re worth and by what you’re expected to give back in results.

So why were most given raises, while Lane Kiffin, love him or hate him, one of the if the best offensive coordinator around got no raise and isn’t even close to being one of the highest paid assistants. The answer is simple, the University of Southern California.

So while Kirby Smart, Kiffin’s counterpart on the defensive side made 1.35 million last season. This year, he gets an extra 150 grand raise puts him at 1.5 million, a nice round number. Kiffin on the other hand made $680,000 last season and that’s what he’ll make this season too. If he stays next year, he’s due to move up to $714,000. That’s the same salary Alabama offered Doug Nussmeier when he was at Alabama. But hey, Kiffin also got a free membership to the North River Yacht Club in his Alabama deal, not that he has much time to use it, but his wife has somewhere to hang out while he’s working all those hours.

However, don’t cry for Kiffin just yet. In 2010, Kiffin signed a 5 year 20 million dollar contract to be the head coach at USC, but in September of 2013, Kiffin was fired and though USC doesn’t have to make the records public, most think Kiffin walked away with USC still owing him around 8 million dollars.

So if you put that into perspective, Kiffin actually made around 4.68 million for last season and this season. Not a bad salary for someone as an offensive coordinator.

Lane Kiffin didn’t come to Alabama for a payday, he came to Alabama for redemption as a coach and it has been a win – win situation for both Kiffin and for Alabama. Should Kiffin take another first year quarterback and help guide Alabama through one of the nation’s toughest schedules with a shot at another championship playoff, then few coaches will be a hotter commodity than Lane Kiffin.

It will be extremely hard for Alabama to expect to hang on to Kiffin after this season, but the skill set and lessons he brought to the team will no doubt carry on for a while. And while Kiffin’s arrival had some hard core fans upset, it’s very hard to find any credible vocal critics of Kiffin now.

Salaries for assistant coaches on staff this season after any raises are:

1. Kirby Smart – 1.5 million – Defensive Coordinator

2. Lane Kiffin – $680,000 – Offensive Coordinator

3. Mario Cristobal – $515,000 – Offensive Line
4. Mel Tucker – $500,000 – Defensive Backs

5. Bo Davis – $475,000 – Defensive Line

6. Bobby Williams – $440,840 – Tight Ends / Special Teams

7. Tosh Lupoi – $425,000 – Linebackers

8. Burton Burns – $345,000 – Running Backs

9. Billy Napier – $340,000 – Receivers

And though not an on field coach, just in case you were wondering, strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran will make $420,000 a year and he could be Alabama’s best bargain besides maybe Kiffin.

Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at
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Larry Burton is a member of the Football Writers of America Association (FWAA) and was the most read SEC and Alabama football writer during his time at Bleacher Report. He has been credentialed by all the major bowls and the University of Alabama. Larry provides some of the best insight in the business through his "Larry's Lowdown" segment with TDA.

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