Big Ten

Big Ten

The highest-paid coach in college football?

It's no longer Nick Saban.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is the highest-paid college football coach, according to USA Today's salaries list, the always-useful tool which was updated for the 2016 season on Wednesday.

According to the list, Harbaugh will make $9.004 million this year, an increase of $2 million from the last time the list was updated.

Saban, who's led Alabama to four national championships since arriving ahead of the 2007 season, gets paid $6,939,395 this year.

Why is Harbaugh's pay so much higher than the next highest-paid coach? You might remember Harbaugh's renegotiated contract from earlier this season. If you don't, USA Today provided a helpful explanation of that somewhat-confusing deal.

School pay includes two in what are essentially a series of $2 million interest-free loans that Harbaugh will receive. He received the first of these loans on June 3, 2016; he will receive the second only if he remains head coach on Dec. 6, 2016. The compensation actually is in the form of an annual life insurance premium payment by the university, which is entitled to reimbursement from the policy's death benefits.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer came in at No. 3 on the list with his $6.0948 million in 2016. Three other Big Ten coaches ranked in the top 15: Penn State's James Franklin at No. 10 ($4.5 million), Iowa's Kirk Ferentz ($4.5 million) and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio ($4.3 million).

 

The Big Ten has the second highest median coach's salary among the college football conference at $3,540,788. The median SEC coach's salary is significantly higher at $4,172,500.

Here's where all the Big Ten coaches landed on USA Today's list.

1. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan: $9,004,000
3. Urban Meyer, Ohio State: $6,094,800
10. James Franklin, Penn State: $4,500,000
11. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: $4,500,000
14. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State: $4,300,000
28. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern: $3,350,638
42. Mike Riley, Nebraska: $2,800,000
43. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin: $2,706,200
46. DJ Durkin, Maryland: $2,412,000
50. Kevin Wilson, Indiana: $2,320,000
53. Darrell Hazell, Purdue: $2,190,000
57. Chris Ash, Rutgers: $2,000,000
60. Lovie Smith, Illinois: $1,809,179
68. Tracy Claeys, Minnesota: $1,400,000