Where Tennessee Vols football assistant coach salaries ranked nationally in 2019

Joseph Spears
Nashville Tennessean

A year after the Tennessee football coaching staff ranked 11th nationally in salaries, the Vols had a significant jump in pay raises in 2019. 

According to USA TODAY's assistant coach salary database released Tuesday, salaries for Tennessee's 10 assistant coaches totaled $6.985 million in 2019. That ranked fifth nationally.

Alabama paid the most for its assistants ($7.541 million) followed by Clemson ($7.410 million), Ohio State ($7.245 million) and Texas A&M ($6.985 million). 

Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney ranked 11th among all assistant coach salaries  at $1.5 million. Defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley ranked 23rd at $1 million. 

Co-defensive coordinator Chris Rumph and offensive line coach Will Friend made $805,000. Special teams coordinator Kevin Sherrer made $705,000 while defensive line coach Tracy Rocker and running backs coach David Johnson each made $505,000.

Assistant head coach/receivers coach Tee Martin made $450,000 while quarterback coach Chris Weinke and tight ends coach Brian Niedermeyer each made $355,000. 

Craig Fitzgerald dropped from the second-highest paid strength coach in 2018 to third. Fitzgerald made $625,000 and trails only Iowa's Chris Doyle ($800,200) and Ohio State's Mickey Marotti ($735,000).

USA TODAY's database did not include private universities, like Vanderbilt, that are not subject to open-record laws.

Memphis no longer No. 1 in AAC

Memphis dropped from having the highest-paid staff in the AAC in 2018 to the fourth highest in 2019. At $2.54 million, the Tigers trail Houston ($2.925 million), UCF ($2.837 million) and Cincinnati ($2.710 million). Overall, Memphis' staff ranked 54th in the country.

Of Memphis' seven new assistants, four made over $300,000. Defensive coordinator Adam Fuller is the highest paid at $400,000. Offensive line coach Ryan Silverfield, who was named interim coach Sunday, was next at $360,000. 

Wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator John Simon and special teams coordinator/assistant head coach Pete Lembo both earned $300,000.

Josh Storms ranked as the 47th highest-paid strength coach in the country at $240,000

MTSU coordinators highest paid in C-USA

Middle Tennessee State offensive coordinator Tony Franklin and defensive coordinator Scott Shafer earned pay increases in 2019 as the two became the highest-paid assistants in Conference USA.

Both made $321,900 and are the only coaches in C-USA to make over $300,000. North Texas co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Troy Reffett was the third-highest at $295,000. 

MTSU ranked 77th in the country and fifth in the conference at $1.299 million behind North Texas ($1.775 million), FIU ($1.661 million), UTEP ($1.387 million) and UTSA ($1.310 million). 

The only other two coaches on MTSU's staff who make over $100,000 are offensive line coach Rick Mallory ($108,650) and offensive tackles and tight ends coach Mike Polly ($107,900).

MTSU strength coach Matt Hickmann made $105,000.

Reach Joe Spears at jspears2@gannett.com or 731-343-4923. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @joe_spears7.