How does the saying go, again? A rising tide lifts all non-revenue coaches’ salaries? As revenues at power-conference schools have skyrocketed in this era of huge television contracts and lucrative league networks, coaches have benefited a lot—and not just the men’s basketball and football coaches.
Over at USA Today, Dan Wolken, Steve Berkowitz, and Tess DeMeyer examined how quickly salaries among the non-revenue sports have been increasing. (Oklahoma’s softball coach makes seven figures, which is pretty wild!) NC State and former athletics director Debbie Yow are a focus of a significant chunk of the piece: non-revenue coaches that Yow hired at State saw their compensation increase by well over 50% between 2013 and 2018. And that sort of increase is happening all over the place.
These days, salary commitments are signs of support just like building new facilities or increasing recruiting budgets. NC State has to be smarter than many schools about where it opens the checkbook and has been willing to step up for the coaches who have established nationally competitive programs: wrestling head coach Pat Popolizio’s compensation is above the P5 average, for example. I’d imagine that Wes Moore (women’s hoops) and Braden Holloway (swimming) also stack up well when compared to their peers.
Financial investment is critical to success but you gotta pick the right spots, too.
The trend in salaries across the board raises a lot of questions, first among them how long this could possibly last. Is there a bubble about to burst here, and what will be the resultant damage?
But in the meantime, power-conference schools will keep on spreading their growing revenues to coaches, and the cost of doing business will continue rising.