Alabama's Steve Sarkisian equals top-paid college football assistant with raise to $2.5 million

Cecil Hurt
The Tuscaloosa News

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees approved raises for several Alabama assistant football coaches on Wednesday, including an $850,000 increase for offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who is now scheduled to make $2.5 million annually.

The new deal ties Sarkisian with Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele as the highest-paid college football assistant this season. Sarkisian continues to have the benefit of a low-interest $500,000 loan that he will have to repay once his employment ends. 

Sarkisian and Steele are two of five college football assistants making more than $2 million this season. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables ($2.4 million), LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini ($2.3 million) and Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko ($2.1 million) are the other three.

Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian against Texas A&M at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas on Saturday October 12, 2019.

Contracts for new strength coaches Matt Rhea and David Ballou were also approved. Ballou will earn $500,000 in his first year, with Rhea earning $450,000. Both will receive $25,000 raises in their second year. 

Alabama special teams coordinator Jeff Banks received a one-year extension and a $75,000 raise to $725,000. Defensive coordinator Pete Golding received an extension and a $25,000 raise to $1.225 million.

New hire Freddie Roach received a three-year contract at $700,000 per year. Other assistants received one-year extensions and $25,000 increases.

The total compensation for the 10 Alabama football assistants this season is set to be $8.85 million, an increase of more than $1.3 million from last season. That figure is likely to be the highest payroll for an assistant coaching staff in college football.

The contract of head coach Nick Saban, which was extended in July 2018 and runs through 2025, was not on the agenda of this Board of Trustees meeting. 

Men’s basketball assistant coach Antoine Pettway received a one-year extension at $325,000. 

Alabama is not the only college football power where new coaching contracts or raises have been finalized in the past two weeks. Oklahoma finalized a new six-year contract with head coach Lincoln Riley last week. 

Contributing: Steve Berkowitz