Poaching assistant football coach Joe Salave’a from Washington State was a splurge, even by nouveau riche Oregon’s standards.
According to a report by The Oregonian, the Ducks will pay Salave’a $550,000 each year of a three-year deal to get Salave’a on new head coach Willie Taggart’s staff as an associate head coach and defensive line coach. Taggart’s other new assistants are on two-year deals.
At WSU, Salave’a was scheduled to make $400,000 in 2017 after making $345,000 in 2016.
Since hiring Taggart, UO has been stockpiling prominent assistant coaches. New defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt was named FootballScoop.com’s top defensive coordinator for his work turning around the Colorado defense this past season. New offensive line coach Mario Cristobal was regarded as one of the nation’s best recruiters during his time at Alabama.
Salave’a likewise is regarded as an ace recruiter, particularly of players who hail from American Samoa and other Polynesians. He is widely credited with playing an integral role in establishing the familial culture at WSU and his reported departure has been widely felt in the football program and fan base.