Texas coach Charlie Strong called his group of recently hired assistants “the best coaching staff in college football.” After the University of Texas Board of Regents approved three-year contracts for all 10 of them Thursday, they’re officially getting paid like it.
Leading the way is defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, who followed Strong to Texas from Louisville. The former Longhorns defensive back will make a base salary of $760,000, which would have made him the country’s ninth-highest paid assistant coach last year, according to a USA Today coaches’ salary database.
It is also $110,000 more than any Texas assistant made last year. Manny Diaz’s and Major Applewhite’s base salaries wer $650,000 in 2013. Bedford will also earn 52 percent more in base salary this year than he did at Louisville last year, when he made $500,000.
When Strong introduced the members of his staff at halftime of the Longhorns’ win over Kansas in basketball Saturday, Bedford was the first to be introduced.
“We’re really excited to be here,” Strong told the 16,540 fans at the Erwin Center. “We’ll get it accomplished. With your backing and with your support, we’ll get it headed back in the right direction.”
Despite having two former offensive coordinators on the staff in wide receivers coach Les Koenning and quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson, Strong has said offensive line coach Joe Wickline will call plays for the Longhorns.
But it’s Watson, who ran Louisville’s offense for Strong the past three seasons, who is the next highest-paid Texas assistant, with a base salary of $610,000, 14 percent more than Wickline’s base salary of $535,000. Wickline can make an additional $160,000 in incentives, $5,000 more than Watson can.
In fact, Wickline and Bedford, the team’s two coordinators, are the only Texas assistants whose maximum performance incentives are $160,000.
The other eight assistants can make up to $155,000 in incentives. All 10 earn an additional $140,000 apiece if the Longhorns win a national championship.
Each of the Texas assistant’s contracts are three-year agreements with the same base salary each year, except for running backs coach Tommie Robinson, who held the same position at USC last year. Robinson will earn a base salary of $185,000 in 2014 before making $335,000 in 2015 and 2016.
The only member of the Longhorns’ staff who was also on Mack Brown’s staff a year ago is tight ends coach Bruce Chambers, who is getting a raise of sorts. Chambers will make $260,000 per year over the next three years, an 11 percent increase from his $233,800 base salary in 2013.
Texas strength and conditioning coach Pat Moorer, whom Strong called “the guy who runs the program,” will make a base salary of $330,000, which is more than four of the other nine Longhorns assistants — linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator ($330,000), Chambers ($260,000), defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator ($245,000) and Robinson ($185,000).
Defensive line coach Chris Rumph will make a base salary of $400,000 over the next three years, making him the fourth-highest paid member of the Longhorns’ staff. It is also 11 percent more than he earned while holding the same position at Alabama last year and 12 percent more than his predecessor, Bo Davis, who replaced him on Nick Saban’s staff, made at Texas.