College Coaches Are Highest Paid Public Employees in 40 of 50 States, Including CT

When UConn announced the hiring of Bob Diaco as new head football coach earlier this month few flinched at the compensation – a reported five-year $8 million contract.  Diaco, who served on the Notre Dame coaching staff as the defensive coordinator for the past four years and the assistant head coach for the past two, was the 2012 winner of the Frank Broyles Award, given to the top assistant college football coach in the country and was the first Irish assistant to receive the prestigious award. He was a semifinalist for the award in 2011.

Earlier this year, the Yankee Institute for Public Policycoaches salaries compiled a list of the highest paid state employees, and three UConn coaches led the list:

  • 1. Calhoun, James A., Men's Basketball Head Coach, UConn $2,865,769
  • 2. Auriemma, Geno, Women's Basketball Head Coach, UConn $1,829,052
  • 3. Pasqualoni, Paul L., Football Head Coach, UConn $1,613,920  (dismissed as coach earlier this fall)

As it turns out, that is not unusual.  According to data compiled by the website Deadspin, the ranks of the highest-paid active public employees in states across the country include 27 football coaches, 13 basketball coaches, one hockey coach, and  10 state employees with responsibilities outside of athletics.  That’s 80 percent of the states with a public employee salary roster led by a coach.

Perhaps surprisingly, the states of New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are among those where a college president, law school dean medical school dean or department chair top the state employee salary list.  In Rhode Island, it is the men’s basketball coach, and in Connecticut, with the retirement of Jim Calhoun, the leader is now women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma.

Last December, UConn and head men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie, a 1995 UConn graduate,  announced a new agreement to run from January 1, 2013 through April 15, 2018.  Under the coaching contract, Ollie receives a base salary of $400,000 per calendar year and for 2013 he will receive $800,000 for institutional speaking engagements and media related appearances for a total of $1,200,000, according to the University's announcement. The payment for institutional speaking engagements will increase by $50,000 each year. Ollie's total compensation for each year of the agreement will be: 2013-$1,200,000; 2014-$1,250,000; 2015-$1,300,000; 2016-$1,325,000; 2017-$1,340,000; 2018-$502,500 (annualized from Jan. 1-April 15).

The website reports that “looking at data from 2011-2012, athletic departments at 99 major schools lost an average of $5 million once you take out revenue generated from "student fees" and "university subsidies.”

Rounding out the top 10 list in Connecticut, as of 2012:

  • 3. Onyiuke, Hilary Chief, Division of Neurosurgery UConn Health Center $1,030,732
  • 4. Nulsen, John Director, Center for Advanced Reproductive Services, UConn Health Center $917,373
  • 5. Makkar, Hanspaul Chief, Division of Pediatric Dermatology, UConn Health Center $916,600
  • 6. Whalen, James Vice Chair, Dermatology UConn Health Center $884,602
  • 7. Laurencin, Cato CEO, Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, UConn Health Center, $701,576
  • 8. Herbst, Susan ,President, UConn $612,500
  • 9. McFadden, David, Chief, Department of Surgery, UConn Health Center $576,923
  • 10. Manuel, Warde Athletic Director UConn $551,305


CT Leader in Jobs, Salaries in Community & Social Service Fields

If you’re interested in working in the community and social service fields, Connecticut is the place to be, according to the latest federal data.  Nationally, community and social service occupations had an annual mean wage of $43,830, which was just below the U.S. all-occupations mean wage of $45,230, according to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the 2011 calendar year.   Out of the 17 occupations in the community and social service group, seven had a mean wage above the U. S. average and 10 had a mean wage below average. Connecticut, however, had among the highest levels in the nation. According to the federal agency, Connecticut had some of the highest annual average wages in the community and social services occupations, and a strong concentration of workers as well. The BLS reported recently that:

  • Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford had the highest employment of any metropolitan area in Connecticut (2,370).   The area had the 14th-highest location quotient (2.00) out of all U.S. metropolitan areas and an annual average wage of $61,980. (Location quotients are useful for analyzing occupational employment while controlling for the size of the state. They are useful for comparing the composition of jobs in an area relative to the average or for finding areas that have high concentrations of jobs in certain occupations.)
  • Waterbury, the metropolitan area with the highest location quotient (2.41) in Connecticut, had one of the highest average annual wages ($64,270) and employment of 330 for community and social service occupations.
  • With an employment of 430 community and social service workers and a high location quotient (1.54), Norwich-New London had an annual average wage of $58,130, the lowest wage for this group out of the metropolitan areas in Connecticut, but still well above average.The Eastern non-metropolitan area had the second-highest annual average wage ($68,880) out of all U.S. non-metropolitan areas, the fourth-highest location quotient (2.63) out of all non-metropolitan areas, and an employment of 150 for community and social service occupations.

The state of Connecticut also has two non-metropolitan areas, Eastern and Northwestern.

  • The Eastern non-metropolitan area had the second-highest annual average wage ($68,880) out of all U.S. non-metropolitan areas, the fourth-highest location quotient (2.63) out of all non-metropolitan areas, and an employment of 150 for community and social service occupations.
  • The Northwestern non-metropolitan area had the third-highest annual average wage ($65,510) out of all non-metropolitan areas, the 21st-highest location quotient (1.84), and an employment of 140.

Nationally, some of the highest-paying occupations in the community and social service group were educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors ($56,540); health educators ($52,150); and probation officers and correctional treatment specialists ($52,110). Two of the lowest-paying occupations, social and human service assistants ($30,710) and religious workers, all other ($31,600), had the highest (359,860) and lowest (7,660) employment, respectively, in the occupational group.