N.C. State trustees expected to discuss football coach salary; Dykes reported to interview

calexander@newsobserver.comNovember 28, 2012 

Utah St. La. Tech Football

Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes is expected to interview for the N.C. State head coach position.


  • Getting paid Thirteen head coaches made $3 million or more this season, according to USA Today, led by Alabama’s Nick Saban at $5.476 million. Jimbo Fisher, the ACC’s highest paid coach, ranked No. 16 overall. Here’s USA Today’s breakdown of ACC coaches:
    $2.75MJimbo FisherFlorida State
    $2.556MMike LondonVirginia
    $2.448MLarry FedoraNorth Carolina
    $2.445M Paul JohnsonGeorgia Tech
    $2.428MFrank BeamerVirginia Tech
    $2.254MJim GrobeWake Forest
    $2.050MDabo SwinneyClemson
    $1.936MTom O’BrienN.C. State
    $1.788MDavid CutcliffeDuke
    $1.604MRandy EdsallMaryland
    $1.094MFrank SpazianiBoston College
    N/AAl GoldenMiami

— N.C. State has scheduled an emergency meeting of the board of trustees for Wednesday, and the hiring of a new football coach is expected to be the subject of discussion.

It’s expected the meeting will deal with the amount of compensation and length of contract NCSU will be able to offer at a time when several high-profile schools such as Tennessee and Arkansas also are looking for coaches. But approving a new hire can’t be ruled out.

The Monroe (La.) News-Star reported Tuesday night that Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes would interview for the Wolfpack job on Wednesday morning.

Former N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien was fired Sunday after six seasons, and athletics director Debbie Yow said she would like to move quickly to hire a new coach. She hired Parker Executive Search of Atlanta to help in the search, at a cost of $90,000.

The trustees meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m., and the notice sent to trustees said the agenda would be “negotiating the amount of compensation and other material terms of an employee agreement contract or future employment contract.” The trustees will hold a closed session via teleconference at Holladay Hall.

Coaches salaries have escalated greatly the past six years. This season, 42 coaches made $2 million or more, and the average salary was $1.64 million, according to USA Today. In 2006, 42 coaches made $1 million or more.

Alabama’s Nick Saban is the highest-paid football coach this year at $5.476 million.

At least seven ACC coaches made $2 million or more this season. Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher was the league’s highest-paid at $2.75 million a year.

O’Brien received $1.9 million, eighth in the ACC. USA Today did not have salary figures for Miami’s Al Golden.

Yow has said she plans to upgrade the Wolfpack program and make it an ACC championship contender, and she likely will have to pay the new coach a competitive salary. And not just the head coach, but his coordinators and staff.

Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate at N.C. State, is paid $1.3 million. That’s more than four times the salary of Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell, who could receive a lot of interest from bigger schools looking to make hires.

The jobs available are impressive: N.C. State, Tennessee, Auburn, Arkansas, Purdue, Boston College and Colorado among the openings. Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports ranked the Wolfpack job third-best, behind Tennessee and Arkansas.

Successful coaches such as Dykes and Butch Jones of Cincinnati should be in demand. Dykes, whose Bulldogs were 9-3 this season, was paid $760,000.

“It’s always a good policy to look at people with proven track record,” Yow said Sunday. “At the same time, there can be individuals who are coordinators who have not yet had that opportunity to prove what they can do. So we’re not going to lock those individuals out of the deliberative process.”

Alexander: 919-829-8945

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