Coaches’ salaries vary disproportionately

Christian Corona

Texas hasn’t had a tight end catch more than 16 passes or rack up 200 receiving yards in any of the past four seasons. Meanwhile, the Longhorns men’s swimming and diving squad — under the tutelage of the legendary Eddie Reese — has won 33 consecutive conference championships, 10 NCAA titles and 26 top-three finishes, including a second place finish this year.

But it’s tight ends coach Bruce Chambers whose annual salary sits at $195,679 — more than the $175,100 earned by Reese, who has led the past two U.S. Olympic swimming teams to earn 12 gold medals apiece in the 2004 and 2008 Games, along with his achievements at Texas. All salaries are according to The Daily Texan’s UT Salary Database.

“Tight ends have been inconsistent,” said Longhorns head football coach Mack Brown halfway through last year’s regular season. “That worries us because this is a tight end offense.”

When it comes to coaches bringing in the big bucks, Brown dwarfs his counterparts on the 40 Acres and athletic programs across the country. Brown, who recently had his contract extended through 2020, earned nearly $5.2 million last year, more than any college coach in the country and more than twice as much as any previous head coach at Texas. After a disappointing 5-7 campaign two years ago, a pair of outstanding recruiting classes seems to have the program back on track.

The next highest paid Texas head coach is Rick Barnes, who has led the Longhorns to the NCAA Tournament in each of his 14 seasons in Austin. Barnes is 333-130 (.719) during his tenure as Texas’ head men’s basketball coach but has not led the Longhorns to the Sweet Sixteen since an Elite Eight appearance in 2008. He earns $2.2 million per year.

Compare that to Longhorns’ baseball head coach Augie Garrido’s $900,000 salary. Garrido, the all-time winningest college baseball coach in NCAA Division I, has won seven regular season conference crowns since taking over at Texas in 1998 and four Big 12 tournament titles. In his 14 years in charge of the Longhorns baseball program, he has made seven College World Series appearances and won national championships in 2002 and 2005, winning national coach of the year awards in each of those years.

In no way has Chambers been a failure as an assistant, producing players like Jermichael Finley, David Thomas and Bo Scaife in his 15 seasons working at Texas. But the fact that he makes more than one of the most renowned swimming coaches in the world is astounding. Either way, many of his fellow assistant football coaches make more than both Chambers and Reese.

Former Longhorns quarterback and current co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite earns a salary of $409,836 while the other man in charge of Texas’ offense — former Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin — makes $391,424. In their first season together, Harsin and Applewhite helped the Longhorns score 28.1 points and rack up close to 400 yards per game. Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, whose unit proved to be the strength of the squad in 2011, makes $394,205 per year.

The only other assistant football coach to make at least $300,000, secondary coach Duane Akina ($336,756), may have the best resume. More than one-quarter of the Longhorns selected in the NFL Draft since 2002 have come from Akina’s groups of defensive backs, including four of their 12 first-rounders during that span.

NCAA president Mark Emmert told ESPN’s Bob Ley in an “Oustide the Lines” interview that if you wanted to support sports like crew, gymnastics or women’s golf, you should buy football tickets. That is certainly the case at Texas, where football has been, is, and always will be king.

Printed on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 as: Football assistant coaches have higher salaries than Longhorns head coaches in other sports