Ranking Big 12 head coach salaries: Where does Joey McGuire rank?

College football coachin salaries are going through the roof. Let's find out how the coaches stack up in the Big 12 and where Joey McGuire ranks among his conference peers.
Tarleton State v Texas Tech
Tarleton State v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages
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As if college football was not expensive enough for universities to sponsor in the age of N.I.L. payments and the ever-ongoing facilities arms race (as Texas Tech football fans know by the $250 million facelift that Jones Stadium is currently receiving), the price of poker just got richer this week with a landmark contract extension.

Thursday, it was announced that Georgia head coach Kirby Smart had become the highest-paid NCAA head coach of all time when he inked a two-year contract extension that raises his salary to $13 million per year. That raise moved him ahead of Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, who will make $11 million this year as the second-highest-paid coach in the NCAA.

The extension for Smart extends his deal to the year 2033 making his total contract now worth somewhere around $130 million. Of course, many say that is deserved given that he's won two of the last three National Championships and has gone 42-2 over the last three years.

There are now five head coaches in America making at least $10 million annually. That group also includes Texas' Steve Sarkisian, Alabama’s Kalen DeBoer, and Florida State’s Mike Norvell.

So how do the Big 12 coaches stack up? Who is the highest-paid coach in the new iteration of the conference that is constantly at the center of college realignment and how does Texas Tech's Joey McGuire stack up against his conference peers? Let's take a look. (All salaries are for the 2023 season unless otherwise noted and are according to CollegeSportsWire.com.)

Unknown salaries: Sonny Dykes at TCU and Kalani Sitake at BYU

Because only public universities are required by law to release the contractual information for their employees, private institutions often keep their coaching salaries under wraps. That's the case for TCU and BYU.

Therefore, we have no idea what Sonny Dykes makes with the Horned Frogs or what Kalani Sitake makes with the Cougars. However, given the success that each has had at their current stop, both are likely well compensated.

Salary. $2.2 million. 14. . . . Brent Brennan. Brent Brennan. player. 511

The newest Big 12 head coach, Brent Brennan is the lowest-paid coach in the Big 12. He'll begin the 2024 season with a contract worth $2.2 million.

The 51-year-old comes over from San Jose State where he was head coach from 2017-2023. Thus, he'll be getting quite the pay increase even if he is the low man in the Big 12.

$2.3 million. . . Gus Malzahn. 455. Salary. 13. player. . Gus Malzahn

Gus Malzhan is set to enter his fourth season as head coach of the UCF Knights. His 2023 base salary was $2.3 million, just slightly ahead of Brennan. That's good for just 66th in the FBS ranks.

UCF isn't a long-running program having only started sponsoring football in 1979. However, the Knights have a seat at the big kids' table in the Big 12 and the increased revenue could boost Malzahn's salary if he finds a way to win consistently in his new league. So far, he is 24-16 with UCF but he was just 6-7 last season including a mark of just 3-6 in the Big 12.

12. 460. $3.0 million. . player. Salary. . . Dave Aranda. Dave Aranda

Though Baylor is a private institution, we know that head coach Dave Aranda made $3.0 million last season. Some would argue he was overpaid as the 57th-highest-paid coach in the FBS.

Overall, the fifth-year head coach is just 23-25 in four seasons in Waco. That includes a mark of 3-9 last year (2-7 in Big 12 play). However, he did lead the Bears to the 2021 conference crown, and in doing so he earned Associated Press Big 12 Coach of the Year honors. Times have certainly changed as he will enter 2024 on the hottest of seats.

. . Scott Satterfield. player. salary. 449. Scott Satterfield. $3.5 million. 11.

Another team that will see increased revenue over the next few years after joining the Big 12 last summer will be Cincinnati. That's where Scott Satterfield made $3.5 million last season, the 53rd-highest in the nation.

The 51-year-old didn't find life easy in his new conference during his first campaign with the Bearcats. His team went just 3-9 overall and 1-8 in conference play. What's more, while at Louisville from 2019-2022, he went just 25-24 overall and 15-18 in ACC play.