High school football in the Peach State is big business and Georgia coaches are proving to be the real winners.
“There is no price you can put on winning,” Glynn County Athletic Director Steve Waters said.
But Georgia public schools can put a price on hiring the right coach.
Proof – at least 36 head football coaches make $100,000 or more a year. That is up 64 percent since 2016.
“The biggest surprise to me was how fast coaches' salaries are growing,” Waters said.
In February 2016, a First Coast News On Your Side Investigation found 22 coaches making six-figures.
RELATED: Cost of Winning: Many Georgia HS football coaches making $100k plus
“It's shocking really, a 64 percent increase in coaches’ supplements, but I think programs are starting to realize that there is value in going out and paying the amount of money we pay to find a good head coach,” Waters said.
Across the state – from Brunswick to Atlanta and Macon to Valdosta – out of the 36 coaches – the minimum total paid was $3.6 million to coaches during the 2016-2017 school year.
At least $2.2 million was paid to 22 coaches making six-figures during the 2015-2016 school year.
“I don't think people realize the investment of time these high school head football coaches are doing,” Waters said. “You know it's hard to pay enough to find a quality head coach and certainly I think here in south Georgia where we're setting the standard.”
“Everyone knows about the college market but the high school market is getting more and more competitive each year," Waters told First Coast News in 2016.
And since then, the high school market in Georgia has gotten more competitive.
Coaching his 10th season in Georgia and 29th season overall, the highest paid coach in Georgia (2016-2017) is Thomas “Rush” Propst of Colquitt High School ($132,000.88, according to Open Georiga.)
According to Georgia High School Football Historians Association, Propst has won three region championships and two state championships. According to a Colquitt County school’s spokesperson, Propst doesn't teach any classes and doesn't serve in any other role other than head football coach.
Colquitt County schools declined to comment any further for this story. In 2015-2016, Colquitt County paid Propst $139,440.88.
Cartersville High’s Raymond “Joey” King ($127,177.92) and Ware County’s Franklin Stephens ($124,791.22) round out the top three. King salary has jumped 32% since 2014 when he was hired. Stephens salary increased by $4,000 since 2016.
Beyond Stephens, two other coaches appear on the list from southeast Georgia. Glynn Academy’s Rocky Hidalgo ($111,922.20) and Camden County’s former coach Welton Coffey ($100,537.71) also made six-figures in 2016/2017.
Coffey has since left the sidelines and took over as Camden County school’s athletic director. Hidalgo received a $28,000 raise after leaving Atlanta’s Walton High School in 2014 for Brunswick’s Glynn Academy and the Georgia coast.
In some counties in Georgia, teachers, assistant coaches and coaches of other sports make more than $100,000.
According to records obtained by First Coast News, the head football coach at Valdosta receives a $35,753 supplement for 12 months to coach football. His assistants make between $14,000 (offensive and defensive coordinators) to $5,000 supplements (special teams kicking coach). Athletic directors and athletic trainers both make $10,000. The Boys basketball coach makes an $8,500 supplement.
But money is spent on more than just athletic coaches. The supplement for working with the high school band is $19,380.00 and the high school drama club is $4100.00.
All data was obtained through public records request or the Open Georgia website.
View 2016-2017 Coaching Salary Database Map in a full screen map
“When you hire a coach, you certainly look at how much he made and where he came from. We feel like with the lifestyle we have here being on the coast and certainly with the fan base and booster club here we can certainly be competitive and we were able to give him a significant raise,” Waters told First Coast News in 2016.
In most cases, the money to pay for these coaches’ salaries (including state base salary, head football coaching supplement, extended day contract) comes from the school district’s general fund. In some high schools, it is not uncommon for a coach to be the school’s athletic director as well, meaning a higher salary.
In Florida, schools have a much different approach to coaching and teaching. According to the National Education Association, the average teaching salary in Georgia is $54,190. In Florida, the average salary is $49,199.
For perspective, Georgia football coaches in some cases make nearly 4 times as much as their Florida counterparts.
Waters believes the trend to start paying coaches more began around 2005. As the salaries began skyrocketing, he remembers a golden rule of hiring coaches from his predecessor.
“Be careful when you hire coaches. You know a lot of them are trying to play you to get raises at the school they're at and certainly whenever we have a high-profile job there will be people that apply and you wonder why they're applying because they have great jobs now but they're applying," Waters said.
"They may get an interview, they may not, but they want to be able to go back to their school and say 'hey I'm applying for this job ...' in hopes that they'll get a raise,” Waters says.
And in some cases, school districts can’t afford a particular coach at such a high salary, Waters said. “If we don't feel like we can pay them what they want to make during the interview process a lot of times the booster clubs will get involved and offer them compensation beyond what their annual salary will be,” Waters said. “You also see booster clubs paying assistant coaches now to kind of help keep assistants around too because it's hard to find good quality assistants that will not only teach your kids but support the head coach.”
Money paid to coaches through booster clubs isn’t subject to public records and therefore as accessible. Money paid through the booster club also doesn't apply to a coaches retirement fund.
It is just the way it is now and Waters expects it to continue.
One hundred and twenty-one miles west of Brunswick, Ga. is the epicenter of high school football in Georgia. In Valdosta, winning impacts more than just the X’s and O’s.
“Are you worth a hundred-thousand dollars”? First Coast News asked Valdosta High head football coach Alan Rodemaker. “After this year, most people would probably say no. After last year maybe so,” Rodemaker said.
He took over the Valdosta High Wildcats in 2016 for Rance Gillespie. Rodemaker earned less ($105,069.18) in 2016/2017 than Gillespie did ($111,340.01) in 2015/2016.
“I know what a hundred-thousand-dollar job is…this is maybe a million-dollar job,” he said jokingly.
Valdosta High is the winningest high school football program in America.
“The expectation of high school coaches now, in addition to all we do with character and academics, just on Friday nights is to win,” he said.
In south Georgia, winning is quantified on more than just a scoreboard, increasing the pressure.
“If you're winning games, district morale is very high and you're able to support those other sports that are not revenue generating sports,” Valdosta City School Superintendent Dr. William “Todd” Cason said. “The accountability is great. The pressure is great.”
Valdosta High doesn’t back down from the pressure or expectations. The Wildcats were the first program in the nation to reach 900 wins.
“What football is to south Georgia is what football is to Texas. We put ourselves in that same category. Football in Texas is premier and south Georgia is the same,” Cason says. “If it were not for football or athletics, lots of our young men might not be successful.”
Cason estimates more than 100 kids between grades 9 and 12 play football in Valdosta city schools.
“We check their grades, check their eating habits, we check what they do on the weekends. We monitor them very closely to make sure they stay on track and graduate.”
So, what are the consequences of an unsuccessful season for a high-school football team?
“Football really funds athletics in general. Our gate money really paid for what basketball
baseball and what the other non-revenue sports do,” Rodemaker said.
Valdosta’s success on and off the field has led coaching salaries to increase statewide, Cason says.
“I think in years past, everyone tried to live up to the standard of Valdosta and so as teams in school districts began to put things in place that would compete with what were we were doing here in Valdosta, I think the one thing they found is that they have to get a quality football coach into their program and so course if you're competing for the best coaches around the state you get you get them and recruit them based on how much you pay them.”
Cason says it’s a good return on investment.
And besides the extra cash, Rodemaker says investing in coaches leaves a game plan that
last beyond Friday nights.
“We are changing a lot of kids in a lot of positive ways,” Rodemaker says.
$47,938 is the 75th percentile. Salaries above this are outliers.How much do assistant high school football coaches make in Georgia? ›
The average Assistant High School Football Coach salary in Atlanta, GA is $39,206 as of October 27, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $31,781 and $54,298.What is the highest paid high school football coach? ›
Let us look at the 2021-2022 top five highest paid coaches. According to Max Preps, the five highest paid coaches were Hank Carter, Scott Surratt, Todd Dodge, Gary Joseph, and Randy Allen. Hank Carter is the head coach at 6A Lake Travis High School in Austin.How much does the Valdosta High School football coach make? ›
View Average Salary for Head Football Coach as table.
|Average Salary||Average Salary Range|
|Base Salary||$54,518||$49,119 - $60,408|
|Bonus||$2,213||$1,408 - $2,688|
Share: ATLANTA - Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart becomes the highest-paid college football coach with a 10-year $112.5 million extension. The National Championship-winning head coach will get $11.25 million per year, as he passes USC's Lincoln Riley's salary for the top spot.What state pays high school coaches the most? ›
|Total High School Coach Jobs:||443|
|Average Annual Salary:||$51,241|
|Lowest 10 Percent Earn:||$30,000|
|Highest 10 Percent Earn:||$86,000|
|Location Quotient:||2.41 You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here|
As of Nov 8, 2022, the average annual pay for a Personal Assistant in Georgia is $29,625 a year.How much do teachers assistants make in Georgia? ›
How much does a Teacher Aide make in Georgia? The average Teacher Aide salary in Georgia is $28,239 as of October 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $24,269 and $33,514.Do you get paid to be an assistant coach? ›
Assistant coaches receive lesser stipends. These stipends pay a set amount per year, and the stipends usually are paid in installments. An average annual stipend for a high school assistant coach is $4500. The actual amount depends on the standards set by the salary schedule established by the school district.Who is the best high school football coach of all time? ›
|No. 1 John McKissick||South Carolina||621-156-13|
|*No. 2 J.T. Curtis||John Curtis - Louisiana||603-75-6|
|No. 3 Mike Smith||Virginia||506-100-2|
|*No. 4 Robert Hyland||St. Mary's Springs - Wisconsin||493-109-2|
|Record attendance||21,766 (2012 vs. Southlake Carroll)|
- Sean McVay is paid $15-18 million per year by the Los Angeles Rams, making him the highest-paid coach in the league, and rightfully so. ...
- Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans, fifth year ($3 million in 2021)
- Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers, second year.
- Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions, second year.
He ultimately got divorced from his first wife, and he married Stefnie shortly thereafter. He resigned from Hoover High amid controversy in 2007, and he then took a job at Colquitt County High School in Georgia.Why was Propst fired? ›
At the time of his removal as head coach at Colquitt County, the Colquitt County Board of Education voted to remove Propst from his coaching position after it was determined he violated the Code of Ethics for Educators for legal compliance, conduct with students, honesty, and public funds and property, including giving ...What 5 players were suspended from Valdosta High School? ›
Five players — Jacob Garcia, Tahj Sanders, Amari Jones, Jamad Willis and Ty'Li Lewis — will be ruled ineligible. $7,500 fine. On probation from 2021 season play and banned from 2021 post-season play.What is Tom Crean salary Georgia? ›
Kirby Smart Contract Buyout Details
If Georgia fires him prior to Dec. 31, 2026, it will owe him 100% of his remaining base salary, media compensation, and equipment compensation. If Georgia fires him after that date but before his contract expires, that 100% number drops to 85%.
Mel Tucker, Michigan State
As a result, Michigan State rewarded Tucker with a contract that ties him with Ryan Day for the highest salary in the Big Ten and for fifth in all of college football. Tucker will earn $9.5 million annually, with the deal stretching over 10 seasons for a $95 million total value.
In general, teachers make more money than coaches – sometimes even twice or three times as much. If you can't make up your mind, consider working full-time as a teacher with part-time coaching duties.What teacher makes the most money? ›
Professor. When you are looking for the best-paid teaching jobs for your area of interest or specialized skill, then you may consider working as a professor in a college or university. A college professor prepares course material, teaches students in a classroom environment, and grades student work.
- Teller. National average salary: $32,088 per year. ...
- Receptionist. National average salary: $41,067 per year. ...
- Legal assistant. National average salary: $41,718 per year. ...
- Accounting clerk. National average salary: $42,053 per year. ...
- Administrative assistant. ...
- Collector. ...
- Courier. ...
- Customer service manager.
- Equity Analyst. Salary range: $66,500-$95,000 per year. ...
- Senior Administrative Assistant. Salary range: $42,500-$62,000 per year. ...
- Administrative Analyst. ...
- Business Administrator. ...
- Business Support Administrator. ...
- Corporate Administrator. ...
- Trust Administrative Assistant. ...
- Management Assistant.
You Will Work Hard and Then Work Even Harder
In fact, many assistants follow their boss's schedules, which could mean frequent 5AM wake up calls, late night meetings, and working during all kinds of random hours, particularly if the boss is in a different time zone.
A teaching assistant can expect to work 32-40 hours a week, but the hours will depend on their type of school and setting. The school day usually starts at 8.30am and finishes at 3.30-4.00pm, Monday-Friday. However, teaching assistants may be required to come in early or stay later after school.Where do teachers assistants make the most money? ›
- Santa Cruz, California. $42,110.
- New Bedford, Massachusetts. $41,780.
- Seattle, Washington. $41,160.
- Bridgeport, Connecticut. $41,130.
- San Jose, California. $41,070.
As a teaching assistant, you'll often feel as though you have a million things to do – under constant pressure to do an unrealistic amount of work! This kind of workload can put serious pressure on you, making you feel tired and stressed. Don't let your workload get the better of you.
While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $401,500 and as low as $11,000, the majority of High School Football Coaching salaries currently range between $27,000 (25th percentile) to $50,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $67,500 annually across the United States.Do assistant coaches get a ring? ›
That includes, but not limited to: Players 1 - 15 in addition to potentially players who have spent a certain number of games on the team, although as far as I know, players that are not on the final playoff roster don't receive a ring. Coach and the assistant coaches.Can you make a living as a coach? ›
The answer is a resounding YES. You can make lots, actually. The International Coach Federation (ICF) reports that the average hourly pay rate for coaches is $235/hour.What is the winningest high school football team? ›
Football Friday Night.
|Record ('20)||940-256-34 (4-6-0)|
|Location||3789 Memorial College Ave. Clarkston, Georgia|
|Owner||DeKalb County Public Schools|
|1||Boris Paichadze National Stadium||54,549|
|2||Mikheil Meskhi Stadium||27,670|
|4||Ramaz Shengelia Stadium||15,000|
The largest football stadium in the world is the Rungrado 1st of May stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. This is a multi purpose stadium with a capacity of 114,000 people. Football stadiums in the world are known for their mammoth structures as they are often seen as an Engineer marvels.How much does a NFL cheerleader make? ›
Different media published the common rate of pay for NFL cheerleaders is $150 each game day and $50-75 per public appearance, which comes out to about $22,500 per year.How much is Deion Sanders getting paid to coach? ›
Sanders signed a four-year deal worth $1.2 million overall and $300,000 annually in 2020. The renovations and new additions at Jackson State include an upgrade to Lee E.Who is the highest paid coach 2022? ›
- Nick Saban agreed to a $93 million extension that makes him the highest-paid coach in college football.
- Saban's new extension tops Kirby Smart, who had previously set the high mark.
Propst was dismissed as head football coach at Valdosta April 27 after an investigation by the GHSA revealed recruiting violations.Who took money at Valdosta? ›
The Valdosta City School District is investigating allegations by the high school's former booster club director that football coach Rush Propst sought the club's help paying $2,500-a-month rent in cash for Jake Garcia, a star quarterback who transferred from California last fall.Why did the Valdosta coach get fired? ›
Valdosta High School placed football coach Rush Propst on administrative leave on Tuesday, pending a Georgia High School Association investigation into allegations that he arranged for improper benefits to players' parents to move with their sons into the school district and other misconduct, sources confirmed to ESPN.What players were ineligible for Valdosta? ›
As first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, University of Georgia commit Gabriel Harris was ruled ineligible by the Georgia High School Association on Wednesday.
— Valdosta High School's celebrated football team has been forced to forfeit a number of its 2020 wins, and will be barred from the 2021 post season, according to a report that the team was fined in a "funny money" scheme to use ineligible players.Who is the new coach at Valdosta High School? ›
JUST IN: Coach Shelton Felton has been named the head coach of the Valdosta Wildcats after a unanimous vote at tonight's school board meeting. Friday night's game against Lee County will be their final game of the 2021-2022 season. For the 2021 season, he led the Cats to a 4-5 record and 1-1 in region play.Did Valdosta make it to the state championship? ›
Valdosta won the state championship in Rodemaker's debut season, its first title since 1998. It appeared the new coach and a revived Touchdown Club had paid dividends.Where is Amari Valdosta now? ›
After moving to Starke, Fla., Amari is now the starting QB for Bradford High School and is set to graduate in 2022.How much does the coach of Valdosta make? ›
|50th Percentile Head Coach (Major Sport) Salary||$75,089||Valdosta,GA|
|75th Percentile Head Coach (Major Sport) Salary||$101,898||Valdosta,GA|
|90th Percentile Head Coach (Major Sport) Salary||$126,307||Valdosta,GA|
As it stands, Georgia's on-field coaching staff — including head coach Kirby Smart — will draw a salary of $14.6 million for the 2022 season. The Bulldogs' offensive staff will make $3.85 million; the defensive assistants, meanwhile, will make $3.55 million.Do GA football coaches get paid? ›
After guiding Georgia football to its first national championship in 41 years, coach Kirby Smart has agreed to a new 10-year contract that will pay him a record $112.5 million through the 2031 season. Sources told ESPN that the $112.5 million total would be the most ever paid to a college football coach.How much is the Georgia coach paid? ›
The new deal will run through the 2031 season and pay Smart between $10.25 million and $12.25 million per season, making him the highest-paid college football coach at a public university.Who is the highest paid football coach in the SEC? ›
- 2022 Salary: $5.1 million. ...
- Josh Heupel, Tennessee Volunteers. ...
- 2022 Salary: $5 million. ...
- Eli Drinkwitz, Missouri Tigers. ...
- 2022 Salary: $4 million. ...
- Shane Beamer, South Carolina Gamecocks. ...
- 2022 Salary: $2.75 million. ...
- Clark Lea, Vanderbilt Commodores.
How much does a GAME Warden make in Georgia? As of Nov 4, 2022, the average annual pay for a GAME Warden in Georgia is $44,469 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $21.38 an hour. This is the equivalent of $855/week or $3,705/month.
When a school hires a football coach, it signs a contract, or agreement, to pay the coach a certain amount of money for a certain number of years. If the school fires the coach before the end of the contract, the school still has to pay the coach if that is what the contract requires.What is Kirby Smart salary at Georgia? ›
3) Kirby Smart, Georgia | $10.25 million.How much does UGA pay Kirby Smart? ›
Georgia released the full details on Kirby Smart's new contract Thursday, which further showed the commitment being made to the head coach after winning the national championship. The length and salary terms already said a lot: Georgia is set to pay Smart $112.5 million over the next 10 years.Do you get paid extra to be a coach? ›
While most coaching positions do not pay a great deal of money, the extra income may be a better option than a separate part-time job after school. On average, teachers who coach can earn an extra $5,000 per year, according to Coaches College. However, averages don't tell the whole story.
|1. Sean McVay||Los Angeles Rams||$15-18 million|
|2. Bill Belichick||New England Patriots||$12.5 million|
|3. Pete Carroll||Seattle Seahawks||$11 million|
|4. Kyle Shanahan||San Francisco 49ers||$9.5 million|
The average NFL head coach's salary is $6.692 million, while the average college football compensation for the 108 NCAA I coaches is $1.75 million.Who is the highest paid black coach in college football? ›
Mel Tucker made history when he became the highest paid black coach in sports when he signed a deal with Michigan State last fall with a 10-year, $95 million contract extension.How can colleges afford to pay coaches so much? ›
Though paid by the university, the Talent Fee is typically funded from revenue generated by its rights deals and sponsorships.