Saban’s compensation includes a $4 million bonus that Alabama refers to as a “contract extension signing incentive.” For a single year, it’s the most money a coach has made at a public school since USA Today started tracking compensation in 2006.
In his first year at Alabama, Saban’s salary was $3.5 million, behind Oklahoma Sooners coach Bob Stoops. That salary would be $4.1 million today, adjusted for inflation, which would land him about 20th among coaches.
Rounding out the top five in salaries this season are Clemson Tigers coach Dabo Swinney at about $8.5 million, Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh at $7 million, Ohio State Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer at $6.4 million and Arizona Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez at $5.6 million.
USA Today reports that when it began analyzing coaches’ salaries, the average was about $950,000 a year. That would be about $1.2 million today. This season, the average salary among the same group of schools is $2.4 million. Saban pulls in nearly five times that.
“He’s separated himself from the market,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne told USA Today.
When asked whether he was worth the price, Saban responded, “Probably not.”