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Tennessee Assistant Coaching Salaries: How Much More Should Vol Coaches Get?

Nine Vol assistants look for raises as Tennessee looks to move up the ladder in the SEC.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

USA Today updated their chart of assistant coaching salaries, which currently finds the Vols with the 15th highest paid staff in college football.  Tennessee's $3.26 million for nine assistant coaches is expected to rise as part of Butch Jones' contract extension.  LSU currently leads the way in college football with $5.49 million for assistant coaches, including $1.3 million for coordinators Cam Cameron and John Chavis.  Alabama is second at $5.21 million; Kirby Smart ($1.35 million) makes almost twice Lane Kiffin's salary ($680,000), although I'd imagine he's in line for a raise.  Smart is the second highest paid assistant in college football, just a few thousand dollars behind Bud Foster's legacy at Virginia Tech.

Tennessee has the sixth-highest paid staff in the SEC.  At present Mike Bajakian and John Jancek lead the way at $480,000 annually apiece, putting them in a tie for 77th overall among all assistants.  In the SEC it goes like this:

  1. Kirby Smart, Alabama Defense - $1.355
  2. Cam Cameron, LSU Offense - $1.315
  3. John Chavis, LSU Defense - $1.312
  4. Jeremy Pruitt, Georgia Defense - $851k
  5. Ellis Johnson, Auburn Defense - $850k (fired)
  6. Lorenzo Ward, South Carolina Defense - $755k
  7. Mark Snyder, Texas A&M Defense - $708k (fired)
  8. Kevin Steele, Alabama LBs - $702k
  9. Kurt Roper, Florida Offense - $700k (new head coach)
  10. Lane Kiffin, Alabama Offense - $680k
  11. Frank Wilson, LSU RBs - $665k
  12. Rodney Garner, Auburn DL - $600k
  13. Melvin Smith, Auburn DBs - $600k
  14. Dave Steckel, Missouri Defense - $600k
  15. Rhett Lashlee, Auburn Offense - $600k
  16. Dave Wommack, Ole Miss Defense - $585k
  17. Mike Bobo, Georgia Offense - $578k
  18. Geoff Collins, Mississippi State Defense - $575k
  19. Neal Brown, Kentucky Offense - $552k
  20. Jim Chaney, Arkansas Offense - $552k
  21. Josh Henson, Missouri Offense - $550k
  22. Travaris Robinson, Florida DBs - $510k
  23. Sam Pittman, Arkansas OL - $502k
  24. Mario Cristobal, Alabama OL - $502k
  25. D.J. Elliott, Kentucky Defense - $501k
  26. D.J. Durkin, Florida Defense - $500k
  27. Robb Smith, Arkansas Defense - $500k
  28. Dameyune Craig, Auburn WR - $500k
  29. Jake Spavital, Texas A&M Offense - $483k
  30. Mike Bajakian, Tennessee Offense - $480k
  31. John Jancek, Tennessee Defense - $480k
So, yeah, competitively speaking these guys probably need raises.  Butch brought his guys from Cincinnati, saving the Vols bigger dollar hires with more name recognition.  So if Tennessee wins the way they want to, these numbers will go up for all these guys.  But it's hard to run a championship program with the 10th-highest paid offensive coordinator and 13th-highest paid defensive coordinator in the league.

The rest of the numbers for Tennessee:
  • Steve Stripling, DL - $385k
  • Tommy Thigpen, LB - $375k
  • Don Mahoney, OL - $355k
  • Willie Martinez, DB - $355k
  • Zach Azzanni, WR - $305k
  • Robert Gillespie, RB - $305k
  • Mark Elder, TE - $225k
What do you think?  How much higher should the Vols bump their coordinators and the total assistant package after two seasons of this administration?