Strength Performance Network

What do you think about the rising tide (pardon the pun given the below article) of strength coach salaries?  Way overdue?  

, USA TODAY Sports 7:29 p.m. EST December 14, 2015

Strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran is staying with Nick Saban rather than going to Georgia with Kirby Smart, Alabama announced on Monday.

This is a big deal because Cochran was considered arguably the best at his job in all of college football and losing him to an in-conference rival would have been perceived a big blow to Alabama, his close relationship with Smart notwithstanding.

But the more interesting part of this will come later when Alabama announces the financial aspects of what it took to keep Cochran.

According to, Cochran, who has been at Alabama since 2007, received a contract extension this year through 2017 that raised his salary to $420,000 per year. He almost certainly isn't staying at Alabama solely out of loyalty, so it's reasonable to assume he will again see his salary increased once again.

DATABASE: Assistant coach salaries

Let's say Cochran gets bumped up to $500,000 — and it could very well be more — that's essentially what Georgia Southern coach Willie Fritz made this year after winning a Sun Belt championship in 2014. It would also put Cochran on par with some of the highest-paid head coaches in the Mid-American Conference, ahead of what Matt Campbell made this year at Toledo ($495,000), Dino Babers made at Bowling Green ($413,000) and Rod Carey made at Northern Illinois ($400,000).

The second-highest paid coach in the MAC is Ohio's Frank Solich at $562,760 — all numbers from the USA TODAY Sports database — and it wouldn't be surprising if Cochran's salary was higher than that.

Strength coaches aren't part of the nine full-time, on-field assistants and thus not subject to a number of NCAA contact rules. That also makes them incredibly important because they are allowed to organize and monitor off-season workouts and training sessions. They essentially run the program for a good portion of the spring and summer. There is a reason Alabama's Derrick Henrymentioned Cochran so prominently in his Heisman Trophy speech Saturday.

Still, $500,000 and up for a strength coach? How soon until these guys all have agents and make $1 million in the SEC? This is new territory in college sports and illustrates the growing financial divide between the Power Five and the Group of Five.

Views: 906


You need to be a member of Strength Performance Network to add comments!

Join Strength Performance Network

Comment by John Weatherly on December 26, 2015 at 11:08pm

Dr. Stone made an interesting comment to me earlier today about this discussion.  He pointed out many of the NSCA Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year recipients have come from smaller schools.  He also mentioned he wondered why, if the NSCA is recognizing them as the best in the field, they aren't being paid more? Scott Cochran has never received the NSCA Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year but he's the highest paid university strength and conditioning coach?  This is yet another area (among many) where the NSCA doesn't seem to make any sense at all!

Comment by John Weatherly on December 26, 2015 at 8:28am

Craig knows a lot more about this than I do.  However, I noticed Pat Ivey and the Football S&C staff at Missouri were let go recently.  The article I read, if I recall correctly, listed Ivey's salary at $280K/yr.  So, he was certainly making a good living as  Head of Football S&C at an SEC school. However, he no longer has a job!  I believe it was Mark Watts who pointed out a while back the NSCA and others have failed to define what doing a good job is or how to measure it for S&C.  S&C coaches seem to not have much control over their positions.  If a head coach is gone, you could be gone too.  And consider jobs like Alabama (or Missouri etc) FB S&C are few and far between. 

I believe most S&C coaches are way underpaid at universities and have very little control over their futures.  Contrast this with tenured college professors who really have to mess up to get fired.  On that last note, if anybody is attending the NSCA Coaches Conference in San Antonio just around the corner, I'd be interested to hear how many profs (those who like to call themselves sport scientists at US universities but don't even work with athletes at their own schools) show up in San Antonio to hangout with coaches?  Years ago, when I went to this, the only time the professors seemed to show was when they were getting paid to speak!  I really don't think most of them give a crap about S&C coaches or the future of the field.

Comment by Craig Cheek on December 15, 2015 at 12:29pm
I think it only serves to drive up the market price for Football Strength Coaches. It has little to no effect on those of us on the Olympic side of the spectrum. People working with multiple sports have to settle for entry level wage most of the time. Those same people also work just as hard and just as long, or harder and longer for a fraction of the salary.

© 2019   Created by Brian Harris.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service