Kalen DeBoer, assistant salaries and a different way of evaluating football investment
Some thoughts on the ratio of head-coach pay to assistant-coach pay at Washington and across the country
Generally speaking, the reaction in November to Washington’s first-year coach receiving a two-year contract extension and seven-figure raise was … that’s it? What a bargain!
This made sense. Everyone knew Kalen DeBoer’s original five-year, $16.5 million contract already was on the low end among Power 5 schools, and that any measure of success in Year 1 likely would yield greater investment.
And it did. Just not at the level some might have assumed. A quick refresher: DeBoer and UW agreed to extend his contract through the 2028 season with his salary increasing to $4.2 million in 2023 — a raise of $1 million — and by another $100,000 each year after. The deal also includes three potential retention bonuses totaling $2 million. Altogether, the contract could pay DeBoer $28.7 million, or $4.8 million per year, though logic suggests he would receive a new deal well before this one ends. That’s not a paltry per-year figure, though it likely would have ranked only fifth in the Pac-12 last year.
But Washington’s new assistant salary pool — $7.483 million, up from $5.745 million in 2022 — proves there’s more to program investment than paying the head coach, and might even shed some light on DeBoer’s strategy regarding resource allocation.