Athletic director Bill Moos likes to say that merit and the market are the factors he uses to determine coaching salaries, but there is also a preventative consideration.
The Washington State football team amassed a 9-4 record that included a six-win improvement over the previous season, and so Moos preempted schools who might seek to hire away his football coaches by giving them raises across the board.
Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times reported on Wednesday that head coach Mike Leach will receive a $200,000 per year raise, and the assistant coaches will split $375,000 in raises.
“We look at college football salaries and there are people who try to come after our coaches,” Moos said. “Some of them were successful, but I think for the most part the chemistry we have on staff right is very, very good. And we need the stability, and to continue to grow.”
Receivers coaches David Yost and Graham Harrell left for other schools, but WSU returns its seven other primary assistant coaches.
The remaining coaches each received renewed contracts, meaning that Leach still has five years left on his contract, just like he did when he took the job in 2012.
“My saying is to ‘reinvest in your success,’ and that’s what we’re doing,” Moos said.
Leach is responsible for divvying up the salary pool among his assistant coaches.
The raises are in part possible because the program is taking in more money. According to Moos, this year’s “A Night With Cougar Football” events raised more than a half-million dollars, and WSU’s ticket office has indicated that the school might set a record for season-ticket sales next year.
Loh reported that defensive coordinator Alex Grinch received the most largess among the assistants with a $150,000 raise that gives him a base salary of $575,000 for next season, with escalators that will see him eventually make $625,000 in 2018 (barring future raises, of course).
Grinch’s energy and the clarity of his teaching received a lot of credit for WSU’s turnaround. The Cougars’ scoring defense improved by more than 10 points per game in Grinch’s first season, and the Cougars forced 16 more turnovers than the previous season.
Moos referred to Grinch as a “hot commodity” on the coaching market.
Defensive line coach Joe Salave’a, who has turned down offers to leave WSU in the past from schools such as USC and Washington, received a $50,000 raise that raises his salary to $375,000.
Offensive line coach Clay McGuire received a $40,000 raise and will make $276,500, outside linebackers coach Roy Manning got a $35,000 raise and will make $271,500 and inside linebackers coach Ken Wilson will make $246,500 after receiving a $30,000 raise.
Furthermore, running backs coach Jim Mastro will make $236,500 and special teams coordinator Eric Mele will make $211,500 after receiving $10,000 raises. Strength coach Jason Loscalzo earned a pretty penny in 2015, too, and will make $251,500 thanks to a $25,000 raise
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