College football and basketball coaches are the highest-paid public employees — here are the biggest paydays

Christian Petersen/GettyFootball coach Nick Saban makes more money than any other public employee in Alabama.
  • The highest-paid public employee in most states is a college football or basketball coach, according to a new report from ESPN.
  • The University of Kentucky’s John Calipari is the highest-paid basketball coach – but his salary pales in comparison to football coaches for public colleges.
  • The salaries for the highest-paid public worker in every state range from $US246,000 to $US11 million.

The highest-paid public employee in your state is probably a college football or basketball coach.

ESPN published a report on the highest-paid public employee, which is someone paid by a state, county, or city institution. College athletic coaches dominated the list, often earning many times the salary of the state governor, probably the highest-profile public job.

Eight basketball coaches and 31 football coaches made the list, representing 39 out of 50 states.

Anyone who is not paid by the state – like coaches for private colleges – were excluded from the list, since salary data for a private employee is hard to come by. That means Duke basketball coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski and Stanford football coach David Shaw – the highest-earning college coaches in North Carolina and California, respectively – don’t appear on ESPN’s list.

The salaries for the highest-paid public worker in every state range from $US246,000 – more than $US50,000 above the highest salary for any governor – to $US11 million. ESPN points out that nine of the coaches who were the highest-paid in their state in 2017 no longer hold the same job.

Of the 11 non-coaches who were the highest-paid public employee in their state, eight work in education and two are physician (several work at medical schools). Only one woman made the list: Mary D. Nettleman, a medical school dean.

See who the highest-paid public employee of 2017 was in your state and how much they made. For comparison, we included the governor’s salary and the median household income in each state via ESPN.


DELAWARE: Mark Holodick, $US246,000 salary in 2017

Job: Brandywine School District superintendent

Governor salary: $US171,000

Median household income: $US61,017


MAINE: James H. Page, $US277,500 salary in 2017

Job: Chancellor of University of Maine system

Governor salary: $US70,000

Median household income: $US50,826


MONTANA: Clay Christian, $US309,000 salary in 2017

Job: Higher Education Commissioner

Governor salary: $US108,167

Median household income: $US48,380


NEW HAMPSHIRE: Mark W. Huddleston, $US492,000 salary in 2017

Job: President of University of New Hampshire

Governor salary: $US110,834

Median household income: $US68,845


ALASKA: Keith Meyer, $US550,000 salary in 2017

Job: President of Alaska Pipeline Development Corp.

Governor salary: $US145,000

Median household income: $US74,444


VERMONT: Frederick C. Morin III, $US559,600 salary in 2017

Job: Dean of University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine

Governor salary: $US160,135

Median household income: $US56,104


SOUTH DAKOTA: Mary D. Nettleman, $US577,700 salary in 2017

Job: Dean, South Dakota School, Sanford School of Medicine

Governor salary: $US112,214

Median household income: $US52,078


NEW YORK: Lewis Pasternak, $US673,600 salary in 2017

Facebook/Stony Brook University

Job: Anesthesiologist, Stony Brook University Hospital

Governor salary: $US170,050

Median household income: $US60,741


NORTH DAKOTA: Joshua Wynne, $US674,600 salary in 2017

Job: Dean, North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Governor salary: $US129,096

Median household income: $US59,114


HAWAII: David J. Engle, $US786,000 salary in 2017

Job: Neurosurgeon, Maui Memorial Medical Center

Governor salary: $US149,556

Median household income: $US71,977


NEW MEXICO: Bob Davie, $US822,960 salary in 2017

Job: Football coach, University of New Mexico

Governor salary: $US110,000

Median household income: $US45,674


RHODE ISLAND: Dan Hurley, $US950,000 salary in 2017

Al Bello/Getty Images

Job: Basketball coach, University of Rhode Island

Governor salary: $US132,710

Median household income: $US58,387


MASSACHUSETTS: Michael Collins, $US1 million salary in 2017

Job: Chancellor and SVP, Health Sciences at UMass System

Governor salary: $US151,800

Median household income: $US70,954


NEVADA: Eric Musselman, $US1 million salary in 2017

Job: Basketball coach, University of Nevada at Reno

Governor salary: $US149,730

Median household income: $US53,094


WYOMING: Craig Bohl, $US1.4 million salary

Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, University of Wyoming

Governor salary: $US105,000

Median household income: $US59,143


IDAHO: Bryan Harsin, $US1.6 million salary in 2017

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, Boise State

Governor salary: $US124,436

Median household income: $US49,174


NEW JERSEY: Chris Ash, $US2.1 million salary in 2017

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, Rutgers University

Governor salary: $US175,000

Median household income: $US73,702


NORTH CAROLINA: Larry Fedora, $US2.3 million salary in 2017

Job: Football coach, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Governor salary: $US142,265

Median household income: $US48,256


MISSOURI: Barry Odom, $US2.4 million salary in 2017

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, University of Missouri

Governor salary: $US133,821

Median household income: $US49,593


MARYLAND: Mark Turgeon, $US2.6 million salary in 2017

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Job: Basketball coach, University of Maryland

Governor salary: $US150,000

Median household income: $US76,067


COLORADO: Mike MacIntyre, $US2.8 million salary in 2017

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, University of Colorado at Boulder

Governor salary: $US90,000

Median household income: $US62,520


NEBRASKA: Mike Riley, $US2.9 million salary in 2017

Steven Branscombe/Getty

Job: Former football coach, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Governor salary: $US105,000

Median household income: $US54,384


OREGON: Willie Taggart, $US2.9 million salary in 2017

Job: Football coach, University of Oregon

Governor salary: $US98,600

Median household income: $US53,270


ILLINOIS: Lovie Smith, $US3 million salary in 2017

Job: Football coach, University of Illinois

Governor salary: $US177,412

Median household income: $US59,196


CONNECTICUT: Kevin Ollie, $US3.2 million salary in 2017

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Job: Basketball coach, University of Connecticut

Governor salary: $US150,000

Median household income: $US71,755


WISCONSIN: Paul Chryst, $US3.2 million salary in 2017

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Governor salary: $US147,328

Median household income: $US54,610


INDIANA: Archie Miller, $US3.2 million salary in 2017

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Job: Basketball coach, Indiana University

Governor salary: $US111,688

Median household income: $US50,433


VIRGINIA: Bronco Mendenhall, $US3.4 million salary in 2017

Job: Football coach, University of Virginia

Governor salary: $US175,000

Median household income: $US66,149


MINNESOTA: PJ Fleck, $US3.5 million salary in 2017

Job: Football coach, University of Minnesota

Governor salary: $US123,427

Median household income: $US63,217


LOUISIANA: Ed Orgeron, $US3.5 million salary in 2017

Job: Football coach, LSU

Governor salary: $US130,000

Median household income: $US45,652


WEST VIRGINIA: Bob Huggins, $US3.6 million salary in 2017

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Job: Basketball coach, West Virginia

Governor salary: $US150,000

Median household income: $US42,644


CALIFORNIA: Jim Mora, $US3.6 million salary in 2017

Harry How/Getty Images

Job: Former football coach, UCLA

Governor salary: $US177,467

Median household income: $US63,783


UTAH: Kyle Wittingham, $US3.7 million salary in 2017

Job: Football coach, University of Utah

Governor salary: $US109,470

Median household income: $US62,518


GEORGIA: Kirby Smart, $US3.8 million salary in 2017

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, University of Georgia

Governor salary: $US139,339

Median household income: $US51,073


TENNESSEE: Butch Jones, $US4.1 million salary in 2017

Tyler Lecka/Getty Images

Job: Former football coach, University of Tennessee

Governor salary: $US187,500

Median household income: $US46,574


WASHINGTON: Chris Petersen, $US4.1 million salary in 2017

Robert Reiners/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, University of Washington

Governor salary: $US166,891

Median household income: $US62,848


ARKANSAS: Bret Bielema, $US4.2 million salary in 2017

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Job: Former football coach, University of Arkansas

Governor salary: $US141,000

Median household income: $US42,336


OKLAHOMA: Mike Gundy, $US4.2 million salary in 2017

Brett Deering/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, Oklahoma State

Governor salary: $US147,000

Median household income: $US48,038


MISSISSIPPI: Dan Mullen, $US4.5 million salary in 2017

Job: Former football coach, Mississippi State

Governor salary: $US122,160

Median household income: $US40,528


IOWA: Kirk Ferentz, $US4.6 million salary in 2017

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, University of Iowa

Governor salary: $US130,000

Median household income: $US54,570


PENNSYLVANIA: James Franklin, $US4.6 million salary in 2017

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, Penn State

Governor salary: $US190,823

Median household income: $US54,895


KANSAS: Bill Self, $US4.8 million salary in 2017

Job: Basketball coach, University of Kansas

Governor salary: $US99,636

Median household income: $US53,571


TEXAS: Tom Herman, $US5.5 million salary in 2017

Tim Warner/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, The University of Texas at Austin

Governor salary: $US150,000

Median household income: $US54,727


ARIZONA: Rich Rodriguez, $US5.6 million salary in 2017

Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Job: Former football coach, University of Arizona

Governor salary: $US95,000

Median household income: $US51,340


FLORIDA: Jimbo Fisher, $US5.7 million salary in 2017

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Job: Former football coach, Florida State University

Governor salary: $US130,273

Median household income: $US48,900


OHIO: Urban Meyer, $US6.4 million salary in 2017

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, Ohio State

Governor salary: $US148,886

Median household income: $US50,674


MICHIGAN: Jim Harbaugh, $US7 million salary in 2017

Job: Football coach, University of Michigan

Governor salary: $US159,300

Median household income: $US50,803


KENTUCKY: John Calipari, $US7.1 million salary in 2017

Getty Images

Job: Basketball coach, University of Kentucky

Governor salary: $US139,056

Median household income: $US44,811


SOUTH CAROLINA: Dabo Swinney, $US8.5 million salary in 2017

Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

Job: Football coach, Clemson University

Governor salary: $US106,078

Median household income: $US46,898


ALABAMA: Nick Saban, $US11.1 million salary in 2017

Streeter Lecka/Getty

Job: Football coach, University of Alabama

Governor salary: $US119,950

Median household income: $US44,758

See the full report on ESPN »

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.