Brynn Anderson/Associated Press
Saban is followed by the Ohio State Buckeyes’ Urban Meyer ($7.6 million), the Michigan Wolverines’ Jim Harbaugh ($7.5 million), the Texas A&M Aggies’ Jimbo Fisher ($7.5 million) and the Auburn Tigers’ Gus Malzahn ($6.7 million) in this year’s top five, released Wednesday.
The Tide coach, who signed an eight-year, $74.4 million contract extension in July, said last year he “probably” wasn’t worth his salary.
“But I don’t really do this for money, and I never really have,” he told reporters. “I started out in this profession making $8,000 a year, and that was after two years as a graduate assistant making nothing. I was going to graduate school and loading trucks at night, and my wife worked in the registrar’s office, and we were happy when my dad brought us a case of peas so we could have a side dish.”
Saban is tied with fellow Bama legend Bear Bryant for the most national championships as a head coach with six, including five since joining the Tide in 2007.
Meanwhile, Meyer won’t receive his full salary for the 2018 campaign.
Ohio State announced in August he would “forgo six weeks of compensation” in addition to his since-served three-game suspension for his handling of domestic-violence allegations against former assistant Zach Smith, who was fired in July.
Harbaugh found himself nearing the hot seat after a season-opening loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but Michigan has bounced back with four straight wins.
In all, there are 13 coaches with total pay of at least $5 million, which doesn’t include potential bonuses, and 82 coaches who are earning at least $1 million this season.
Seven schools (Air Force, Army, Baylor, BYU, Rice, SMU and Temple) didn’t provide information for the USA Today database.