Mack Browns new assistant coaching staff will cost almost $3.7 million this season.
Brown, UTs head football coach and the states highest paid employee, leads a nine-member assistant coaching staff. Eight of the nine assistant coaches will receive pay increases this season.
The only position to be paid less is the offensive coordinator. Six of the coaches are new to UT this season, and the five who left another collegiate coaching position will be paid more than they were last year. The University released the assistant coach salaries to the Austin American-Statesman last week in response to open records requests for the information.
In a press conference, Brown said he found a changed hiring landscape from when he came to UT in 1998, when he started rebuilding the coaching staff. He said other than having much higher salaries, agents now handle the deals and multiple-year contracts are more common. He said he took the shake-up following last season as an opportunity to start fresh, and he has enjoyed the challenge.
I thought we got exactly what we wanted. I think we got the best coaches possible for Texas, Brown said. We can hire good coaches at Texas. [UT Mens Athletic Director] DeLoss [Dodds] lets us pay them.
A vocal critic of the increasing coaching salaries, Thomas Palaima is a classics professor and University representative to the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics. He said the coaches salaries are inappropriately high and result from a flawed relationship between the University and its athletic department.
I think it is literally obscene, Palaima said. The University is made up of many components. All of those components are or should be subject to central supervision and oversight and cooperative participation in the values and cultural and educational mission of the University. And there is one glaring exception and that is the NCAA athletics program.
Palaima said the money could fund the creation of a new NCAA sports team at UT, which would provide opportunities to more student athletes. Athletics receive no state funding and generated more than $140 million last year at UT. That revenue, which includes 90 percent of the Universitys licensing revenue from UT product sales, makes the department self-sufficient.
Budget Director Mary Knight said the UT System and the University once managed licensing for UT, but the athletics department has since taken over that responsibility.
She said the academic side of the University receives 10 percent of the licensing revenue and more in years when the revenue is higher than normal, including when the football team won the national championship in 2005. She also said in the last fiscal year athletics contributed $5 million to the Universitys general revenue to ease the 5-percent state budget cuts.
Having a successful athletics program is beneficial to the University as a whole, Knight said. Our athletics program is self-sustaining. We dont put any state funds into athletics, so its not negatively impacting academics.