The NCAA and Wisconsin Badgers fans were shocked by the news on Sunday that Luke Fickell had accepted the job of head coach. There has been a flurry of activity in Madison, from recruits decommitting to current players transferring. However, there is also a sense of excitement. Fickell is an astounding head coach who took Cincinnati to the College Football Playoffs last year. As one might have guessed, it was going to cost a pretty penny to lure such a high-profile coach to Wisconsin. Earlier today, the details of Fickell’s contract were leaked to the media.
Luke Fickell Will Be One of the Highest Paid Coaches in the Country
According to Pete Thamel of ESPN, Coach Fickell has signed a seven-year contract with Wisconsin that will pay him $7.9 million per year.
Sources: Luke Fickell’s contract with Wisconsin is seven-year deal at an average of nearly $7.9 million per year.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 28, 2022
This is substantially more than former head coach Paul Chryst made at Wisconsin. Chryst, who was fired midway through the 2022 season, made $5.25 million per season.
Like Chryst before him, Fickell is now the highest paid public employee in the state of Wisconsin. This is not an unusual occurrence. Per this 2020 article in USA Today, a collegiate head football coach is the highest paid public employee in 40 out of the 50 states.
How Does Luke Fickell’s Salary Rank Among College Coaches?
If $7.9 million sounds like a lot of money to pay annually for a coach, that’s because it is. According to NBC Sports, this salary would make Fickell the tenth-highest paid coach in the country. The ten highest paid coaches in 2022 are as follows:
- Nick Saban (Alabama): $11.7 million
- Kirby Smart (Georgia): $11.25 million
- Dabo Swinney (Clemson): $10.5 million
- Lincoln Riley (USC): $10+ million
- Brian Kelley (LSU): $9.5 million
- Mel Tucker (Michigan State): $9.5 million
- Ryan Day (Ohio State): $9.5 million
- David Shaw (Stanford): $8.925 million
- Mario Cristobal (Miami): $8 million
- Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M): $7.25 million
As one can see from this list, Fickell’s new contract would knock Fisher down to 11th.