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Driven by television money, the arms race continues in college football. In 2006, one head coach made at least $3 million. In 2013, 17 did.
"I don't want to comment on any individuals and whether they are worthy or deserving based upon their career," said Duke coach David Cutcliffe, an incoming board member of the American Football Coaches Association, which represents college and high school coaches. "Obviously, the market thinks they are."
Monday, the market took another jump.
The University of Texas System board of regents approved the terms of a five-year contract for new coach Charlie Strong, hired away from the University of Louisville, where he had shared two conference titles in four seasons. His compensation includes $5 million in pay for 2014, annual raises of $100,000 -- and requires Texas to pay $4.375 million that Strong owes Louisville for terminating his contract there.
Strong replaces Mack Brown, who made about $5.4 million this past season, slightly less than Alabama's Nick Saban. He was the nation's highest-paid coach even before he agreed to a new deal, whose terms have not been announced. Brown and Saban have won national titles.
In December, Texas A&M, concerned that Kevin Sumlin might depart, raised his pay from $3.1 million this past season to $5 million in each of the next six seasons. In two seasons with the Aggies, Sumlin has a 20-6 record and two bowl wins but no conference titles.
Another big winner: new Penn State coach James Franklin, who is scheduled to make $4 million plus a $300,000 bonus in 2014, which is $1million more than Bill O'Brien made in 2013 before he left for the NFL's Houston Texans.