Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

LSU’s Dave Aranda to be among highest-paid DCs

There’s a shocker, right?

Three weeks ago, LSU lured Dave Aranda away from Wisconsin to replace defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, who left for the same job at Auburn. Not surprisingly, money was a part of the lure.

According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, LSU’s Board of Supervisors will meet later this month to essentially rubber-stamp a three-year, $3.75 million contract for Aranda. The contract calls for a salary of $1.2 million in the first year, followed by raises of $50,000 in both 2017 ($1.25 million) and 2018 ($1.3 million). Additionally, Aranda received $165,000 upfront from the Tiger Athletic Foundation, $65,000 of which is to go toward his UW buyout.

The Advocate adds this interesting note: “Aranda’s contract does not include a clause tying him to head coach Les Miles. Every other assistant’s contract would end six months after Miles was terminated or left his job.”

Aranda’s buyout in this contract could also be potentially hefty, especially if he were to leave early on in the deal for another job in the SEC (call it the Steele/Chavis Clause):

Aranda does not have to pay a buyout if he leaves for a head coaching job. He must pay 50 percent of his remaining salary if he leaves for a non-head coaching job in the Southeastern Conference or “a Football Bowl Subdivision football program within a 500 miles radius of LSU,” the contract reads.

He must pay 20 percent of his remaining salary if her were to leave for any other non-head coaching job.

According to USA Today‘s coaching salary database, the highest-paid defensive coordinators in the SEC last season were Auburn’s Will Muschamp (($1.6 million), Alabama’s Kirby Smart ($1.501 million), Texas A&M’s John Chavis ($1.5 million), Georgia’s Jeremy Pruitt ($1.3 million) and Steele ($1.005 million). Muschamp and Smart left for head-coaching jobs at South Carolina and Georgia, respectively, while Pruitt replaced Smart at ‘Bama.

It’s believed Steele’s new deal will pay him close to an average of $1.4 million annually, while Pruitt’s contractual details have yet to be released, although it’s the common train of thought is he’ll come in somewhere between his salary at UGA and Smart in his final season in Tuscaloosa. If that’s the case, and with Chavis returning to A&M, Aranda should be the fourth-highest paid defensive coordinator in the conference.

The only other defensive coordinators in college football that would make more than Aranda would be Clemson’s Brent Venables ($1.4 million) and Louisville’s Todd Grantham ($1.3 million). Regardless of where he ends up stacking up nationally and in his new conference, Aranda will certainly find himself in uncharted territory -- and a new tax bracket.

In 2015 with the Badgers, Aranda’s salary was $522,000, a number that was good for 13th of the 13 Big Ten teams listed in the database. That salary was also 64th of all coordinators, offensive and defensive, in the country.