The FCS Coaching Salary Market

After many weeks of speculation, it was confirmed today that Richmond Head Football Coach Danny Rocco is accepting the same position at Delaware.  At face value, it seems like a lateral move within the same conference.  We wondered what the driving factors in this decision could be and then did a little digging.

Per, which is a website dedicated to Liberty University Athletics, in an article dated November 14, 2016, Danny Rocco made a “total package salary” of $437,672 in 2015 (amazingly, Liberty Head Coach Turner Gill topped the list with an astounding $750,116 total package salary).  So the question would be what in the hell is Delaware paying Rocco to leave Richmond?  We have yet to see details of the Rocco to Delaware deal.

The article also listed and ranked other salaries of the head coaches in the Top 25 FCS polls at the time.  UND Head Coach Bubba Schweigert was at the bottom with a base salary listed at $150,000, which was 2nd to last to Charleston Southern’s Jamey Chadwell.  From the article:

Richmond’s Danny Rocco received a total package worth $437,672. 
Northern Iowa’s Mark Farley had a base salary of $350,000. 
Villanova’s Andy Talley received a base salary of $304,642 with a total package of $341,096. 
James Madison’s Mike  Houston had a starting salary of $300,000 in his first year this season. 
Illinois State’s Brock Spack had a base salary of $300,000. 
North Carolina A&T’s Rod Broadway had a base salary of $285,000. 
In Samford’s Pat Sullivan’s final season before Chris Hatcher took over, he had a base salary of $274,665 and a total package worth $438,196. 
North Dakota State’s Chris Klieman had a base salary of $261,177 with a total package worth 300,000. 
Sam Houston State’s KC Keeler had a base salary of $250,000. 
Youngstown State’s Bo Pelini had a base salary of 213,894 in his first year this season. 
Cal Poly’s Tim Walsh had a base salary of $205,200. 
New Hampshire’s Sean McDonnell had a base salary of $200,000. 
Grambling State’s Broderick Fobbs had a base salary of $195,000. 
South Dakota State’s John Stiegelmeier had a base salary of $190,000. 
Jacksonville State’s John Grass received a base salary of $181,000 with a total package of $251,000. 
Eastern Washington’s Beau Baldwin received a package worth $212,717. 
Central Arkansas’ Steve Campbell had a base salary of $185,000. 
Coastal Carolina’s Joe Moglia had a base salary of $175,000. 
Montana’s Bob Stitt had a base salary of $175,000 in 2015. 
The Citadel’s Brent Thompson received a base salary of $175,000 in 2016. 
Samford’s Chris Hatcher had a base salary of $152,650 in his final season at Murray State in 2014. 
Chattanooga’s Russ Huesman had a base salary of $150,000. 
North Dakota’s Kyle Schweigert had a base salary of $150,000. 
Charleston Southern’s Jamey Chadwell received a base salary of $120,542 and total package worth $139,670. 

Only three years into Bubba Schweigert’s tenure, the team has been on a consistent upward trend, culminating in this year’s Big Sky Conference Championship, first-round bye, top 8 seed and home playoff game – all “firsts” for UND as an FCS program.

UND went 3-8 in 2013 prior to Schweigert’s arrival and then went 5-7 in 2014, 7-4 in 2015 and 9-3 this season.  Outside of that, attendance has risen dramatically and summer camp participation is at an all-time high.  FBS payday guarantees will start coming in at around $500,000 for the next couple of years with two trips to Pac-12 schools (Utah & Washington) on the schedule.  Yet even more revenue relative to 2013.

Coach Schweigert and just as importantly, his staff of assistants, need to be rewarded accordingly.  We aren’t sure if any raises have been given out since their arrival in 2014, but there has never been a more obvious time to give a raise to the entire staff – a substantial one.  It’s important for morale of the staff, is an incentive for them not to look around at other jobs, and most importantly aids in keeping the continuity of the staff together for as long as possible.

Bubba Schweigert was named Big Sky Coach of the Year and finished 4th in voting for the Eddie Robinson Award, which is the national coach of the year award at the FCS level.

Our research started with our curiosity of the details of Danny Rocco leaving Richmond for Delaware.  The research ended with extreme disappointment at where our staff salaries are at relative to the rest of the FCS coaching world.

Bottom line:  This is embarrassing for UND Football and if something isn’t already in the works, it needs to be done immediately.  UND doesn’t need to be at the top of the salary list we posted above, but they sure as heck shouldn’t be at the bottom.

If UND is serious about funding a winning FCS football program appropriately, now and in the future, it should get done soon.

There’s “No Doubt” it has been earned.

P.S. – While Brian Faison is at it, he should look into the fairly low Strength and Conditioning budget/salaries on campus.  Coach Nate Baukol and his staff have done more with less than any group on the entire campus.  The staff pay is low and the facilities are slowly coming along due to their hard work fund raising most all of it.  The S&C staff is an incredibly important part of an athletic department.  Just ask any of the coaches.


16 Responses

    1. We just quoted the linked article which was based off 2015 info. I’m sure there’s a little discrepancy on all of those but it’s still relative to the topic at hand.

  1. MoSiouxFan

    No kidding. This staff has definitely earned a raise and Brian needs to get busy, pronto. Bubba and staff are building something very good and it’s time for them to be rewarded.

  2. 27

    Part of the reason Bubba’s base salary is comparatively low is that he diverted some of the money he was offered to his assistant salary pool because he knew the importance of having a strong staff and the resources it would take to build it. I believe his base would have been right around top 10 or so in the list above. That being said, he and his staff are incredibly deserving of raises across the board.

    1. I do not believe that to be true. A top 10 base salary would be around 300k if you look across the country. UND came nowhere close to that. Yes he fought for extra assistant salary pool money and maybe even sacrificed some of his own, but not to that extent.

      1. 27

        If the numbers I heard were correct, his “base” salary would have been between Keeler ($250K) and Pelini ($214K), which would have put him at 10ish and is more what I meant by Top 10, not somewhere in the average of the Top 10. I can see now how that might have been misinterpreted.

        Agree that the assistant pool was way too low and I applaud Bubba for doing what he did and sticking to his gut on what he knew he needed to be successful, even at the expense of his own pocketbook. And I agree wholeheartedly with your overall point, UND needs to step up and make everything right across the board for the results they have gotten. Bubba and his staff have more than proven their worth.

    2. While this is true we are under the assumption that UND’s assistant salary pool was so ridiculously low that he had no choice. He isn’t stupid. He knew he needed a larger assistant pool to be able to bring in quality candidates. So, to sum it up, UND is still low no matter how they shuffle the numbers.

  3. UND alum and fan

    Salary raises are necessary across the board for football and strength & conditioning. Faison needs to have the brains and the guts to get it done. No excuses. Build the damn program the right way; Faison has to have a vision himself and that can’t be to half-ass every non-hockey sport. Embarrassing state of affairs right now in terms of salary (and, accordingly, allocation and emphasis of non-hockey sports). Too many puck heads in the athletic department?

  4. Sioux46

    We had this discussion when Bubba was hired. At that time non-hockey salaries were embarrassing low and Faison said that was going to be addressed. It hasn’t.

    We also have to keep in mind that the budget cut situation, with some sports barely escaping execution, may not create a sympathetic atmosphere for salary hikes at this time, even if th money came from an outside source.

  5. Bang

    First of all I’d love to see Bubba be paid the most in all of the FCS. He’s proving himself to be one of the best and should be paid accordingly. Yet, money doesn’t grow on trees. His accordingly has to factor the money the university has to pay him.
    Going into the Richmond game somebody did some digging on their program. It was said our facilities along with much of the rest of FCS programs are far superior to Richmonds. It was also pointed out that they have a massive endowment. With this said it points to where we are using our money and how they can afford to pay so much for a HC salary.
    Our program unfortunately does not bring enough money to warrant a $300,000 salary. We just don’t. We’re not there yet.
    I wasn’t embarrassed about the compared salaries to other programs. I think given the universities present financial state we are lucky it’s not worse. Does anybody know what the salary of president Kennedy is? I’d hate to be that university that’s in financial turmoil and have two athletic coaches making more than the president of the university. That would be embarrassing.

    1. Disappointed UND Student

      I would assume that President Kennedy makes right around the $350,000 range because that’s what Robert Kelley was making while president, but that is just an assumption. You can find Kelley’s salary online by googling “UND Professor Salaries”.

    2. Bang, you made some big leaps there….

      We never said he should be paid the most in FCS. We aren’t even saying he should be in the top 10 yet. He should be around 200k or so at this time though given what he’s done and the trend the program is on. That’s fair given what he has done since his arrival. He’s EARNED it, literally. His staff salary pool should also be increased accordingly.

      We disagree on the embarrassment of the current salaries. Relative to peer insitutions in the region and nationally, it is embarrassing.

      The budget concerns are obvious to everyone, however do not get us started on that whole mess. That’s on the AD and President.

      Thanks for the comment.

      1. Bang

        I’d like to see him at the 175-200,000 range (i suppose I should’ve stated that in my original post). Along with a bump for his assistants. That includes Rudolph even though I was one of the guys that railed against his play calling in the Richmond game. I agree with Fritz they’ve earned it and the past president did the university no favors. I myself haven’t loved Faison but its not an easy job. I think his main goal sometime is not to ruffle the water. Which makes him an ineffective leader. Maybe this time he will stick his head out a little bit and get the boys some more money. As far as being compared to the rest of the institutions. Each public entity has its own waterfalls and pitfalls. What everybody does with there money is on them. Some places have bigger donors than others and so on. You can’t give a guy a salary your butt can’t cash, just because Joe Blow down the road is getting big money. You’ve got to give a guy the money your situation allows and his ability is worth. I certainly don’t mean to disrespect anyone here and hope you don’t take it that way.

    3. Sioux Fan in LA

      There’s one money tree that can be planted – fans can start buying all 13,000 tickets to the games. Bubba appears to have done his best by putting a good team on the field and marketing the program.

  6. UND alum and fan

    Hockey has a huge salary pool. Cut that salary down, reallocate, and people will still show up for hockey due to this $100 M thing they call the Ralph. Football is more dependent on coaching and wins; this UND fb staff deserves a raise far more than M hockey does.

    1. Slick

      Really???? Which program just won the national championship? This should NOT and must NOT be an argument over hockey. The university needs to find a way to fund football WITHOUT adjusting any money from hockey. Taking money from your biggest asset would be a HUGE mistake.

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