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WSU gives Mike Leach a $500,000 raise

As the on-field performance of the Washington State football team improves, so does its coaches' salary. WSU athletic director Bill Moos amended the contract for football coach Mike Leach to raise his annual media compensation from $100,000 per year to $600,000 per year, raising his total guaranteed annual compensation to $2.75 million.

Additionally, Moos allocated another $500,000 into the pool for assistant coaching salaries.

More on the coaching raises after the jump.

I spoke to Moos after today's practice and he told me that the pay bump comes from a desire to keep Leach's compensation near the top of the Pac-12. He also cited efforts by Washington and USC to hire defensive line coach Joe Salave'a over the offseason as a reason for the pay bump.

Salave'a, who was initially paid $175,00 to coach at WSU, recently signed a personnel action form that will raise his salary to $275,000

“I still think (Leach is) one of the best coaches in this league and as we change our culture at Washington State we have to compete with those in our conference and around the country to build stability and consistency,” Moos said. “I like to be forward thinking in that regard and proactive. Not that I'm worried about losing Mike but I also don't want to get complacent and not be on top of the market.”

Media compensation covers appearances on radio and television broadcasts, the use of Leach's likeness in promotional events and other media appearances. Schools occasionally raise the media compensation for a coach rather than his base salary to avoid paying into the state's employee pension program, but Washington state's Public Employee Retirement System has an annual cap of around $250,000, a figure Leach's base salary easily exceeds.

Based on the most recent reports, the amendment to Leach's contract makes him one of the conference's highest-paid coaches. With Leach's salary bump, here is the new ranking of Pac-12 coaching salaries for the public schools (private school's don't have to make their salary data available but it is likely that USC's Steve Sarkisian and Stanford's David Shaw are on the high end of the list):

— Chris Petersen, Washington: $3.25 million

— UCLA, Jim Mora: $3.5 million

— Mike Leach, Washington State: $2.75 million

— Arizona State, Todd Graham: $2.7 million

— Arizona, Rich Rodriguez: $2.05 million

— Colorado, Mark McIntyre: $2 million

— California, Sonny Dykes: $1.94 million

— Oregon, Mark Helfrich: $1.8 million

— Utah, Kyle Whittingham: $1.62 million

— Oregon State, Mike Riley: $1.51 million


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Jacob Thorpe (@JacobThorpe) Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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