Highest Paid College Football Coaches: Top Salaries In 2023

Nick Saban remains the highest-paid college football coach in 2023 with an $11.7 million salary, though the compensation rates of his peers have certainly taken an exponential jump over the past few years.'

Kirby Smart and Dabo Swinney also make north of $10 million per year. The college football world is also pretty sure that USC coach Lincoln Riley does too, but since that's a private school, it's impossible to verify those numbers without Riley volunteering the information.'

Former Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker did appear on this list, as he was being paid a $9.5 million annual salary to lead the Spartans. Since he's been fired for cause, though, he will not receive any of the money on the remainder of his contract.'

It was not so long ago that top college football coaches only made $1 or $2 million.'

Highest Paid College Football Coaches 2023

Rank Coach School Salary
1 Nick Saban Alabama $11.7 million
2 Kirby Smart Georgia $11.25 million
3 Dabo Swinney Clemson $10.5 million
4 Lincoln Riley USC $10(ish) million
T-5 Brian Kelly LSU $9.5 million
T-5 Ryan Day Ohio State $9.5 million
7 Matt Rhule Nebraska $9.25 million
T-8 Lane Kiffin Ole Miss $9 million
T-8 Jimbo Fisher Texas A&M $9 million
T-8 Josh Heupel Tennessee $9 million
11 Mario Cristobal Miami (FL) $8 million
12 Luke Fickell Wisconsin $7.8 million
13 Jim Harbaugh Michigan $7.05 million
14 James Franklin Penn State $7 million
15 PJ Fleck Minnesota $6 million
16 Chip Kelly UCLA $5.6 million
17 Steve Sarkisian Texas $5.45 million

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