Steve Sarkisian gets raise, becomes nation's top-paid offensive coordinator with $2.5M salary

Tommy Deas
Tide Sports
Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian against Texas A&M at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas on Saturday October 12, 2019.

This story was originally published Aug. 5, 2020.

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees approved raises for several UA assistant football coaches Wednesday, including an $850,000 raise  for offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who will now earn $2.5 million annually.

Sarkisian's $2.5 million salary matches that of Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele as highest in the country for college assistant coaches.

Sarkisian continues to have the benefit of a low-interest $500,000 loan that he will have to repay once his employment ends.

Sarkisian and Steele are two of five college football assistants making more than $2 million this season. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables ($2.4 million), LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini ($2.3 million) and Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko ($2.1 million) are the other three.

The contract of head coach Nick Saban, which was extended in July 2018 and runs through 2025, was not on the agenda of this Board of Trustees meeting.

Contracts for new strength coaches Matt Rhea and David Ballou were also approved. Ballou will earn $500,000 in his first year, with Rhea earning $450,000. Both will receive $25,000 raises in their second year.

Special teams coordinator Jeff Banks received a one-year extension and a $75,000 raise to $725,000. Defensive coordinator Pete Golding received an extension and a $25,000 raise to $1.225 million.

New hire Freddie Roach received a three-year contract at $700,000 per year. Other assistants received one-year extensions and $25,000.

Men’s basketball assistant coach Antoine Pettway received a one-year extension at $325,000.

Sarkisian was mentioned in association with several head coaching vacancies last season, most notably at Colorado.

Alabama is not the only college football power where new coaching contracts or raises have been finalized in the past two weeks. Oklahoma finalized a new six-year contract with head coach Lincoln Riley last week, although sources told The Athletic that Riley’s deal has been negotiated prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Contributing: Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY

Reach Cecil Hurt at or via Twitter @cecilhurt