Report: Salaries of Lovie Smith's coaching staff released
We knew that Lovie Smith was going to have himself a healthy budget to hire a coaching staff. He was approved for $4 million, to be exact.
According to a report from the Champaign News-Gazette, Smith approached that number, but didn’t quite reach it. The report said that Smith is only at $3,245,000 with all of his assistants in place.
He could still use that money on scouting or a strength and conditioning staff, but for now, here are the yearly salaries for each Illini assistant, according to the News-Gazette:
|Garrick McGee||Offensive coordinator, QBs coach||$650,000|
|Hardy Nickerson||Defensive coordinator||$550,000|
|Mike Phair||Defensive line||$440,000|
|Luke Butkus||Offensive line||$325,000|
|Bob Ligashesky||Special teams/TEs||$300,000|
|Paul Williams||Defensive backs||$285,000|
|Andrew Hayes-Stoker||Wide receivers||$265,000|
|Thad Ward||Running backs||$215,000|
If you’ll recall, McGee was one of the highest paid assistants in the country when he was the offensive coordinator at Louisville. He was ranked 19th among all FBS assistants at $850,000, according to USA Today.
In other words, he took a $200,000 pay cut to join Smith’s staff. There could be incentives in his contract that would bring that number up, but the base salary is indeed $200,000 less than what he made at Louisville.
Phair also took a pay cut to shift from co-defensive coordinator to the defensive line coach. But a $10,000 pay cut to go from a coordinator to a position coach isn’t a raw deal at all.
In 2015, Illinois paid its assistants $2,011,208, which ranked 56th among FBS schools. The 2016 budget of $3,245,000 would’ve ranked it 24th in 2015. If the Illini had spent the allotted $4 million, it would’ve ranked behind only Michigan and Ohio State in the B1G, and it would’ve been 10th nationally.