This is the silly season for college football coaches. Head coaches are getting fired, leaving one job for another and the carousel continues.
It’s also the time of year when assistant coaches began to move around, as head coaches change and make new hires to fill out their staffs.
This includes the Football Championship Subdivision level at which North Dakota State competes.
Head coach Chris Klieman’s staff has been fairly stable since he took over for Craig Bohl in 2014. Given Klieman’s remarkable success with the Bison, there is chatter among fans and media of him possibly moving up to an Football Championship Subdivision job either as a head coach or top assistant.
That chatter should also involve his assistant coaches. After last year, the Bison lost offensive coordinator Tim Polasek to Iowa and defensive line coach Jamar Cain went to Fresno State. Could there be more movement this year among the assistants? Very possibly, especially if you look at the money being paid to assistant coaches in FBS.
Yes, there are other reasons why assistants might move on from NDSU, including new challenges, professional advancement or going to work for a close friend or mentor. But money factors into decisons, too, of course.
USA Today released its list of FBS college football assistant coaches salaries today and you can check out the numbers for yourself. There is money to be made as an assistant coach.
Polasek was paid $335,000 for being the offensive line coach at Iowa. Cain made $185,000 to be the defensive line coach at Fresno State.
That’s not head coach money, or even coordinator money — Kirk Ferentz, Iowa’s head coach, made $4.55 million this season and Brian Ferentz, Iowa’s offensive coordinator, made $625,000 — but it’s not bad. Polasek’s first job at NDSU under then-head coach Craig Bohl in 2006 paid $7,500 a year as a graduate assistant.
Speaking of Bohl, USA Today has his salary listed at $1.412 million to be the head coach at Wyoming. That’s up from $909,000 last year. That’s only the money the University of Wyoming pays and doesn’t include other income.
The assistants Bohl took with him to Laramie from Fargo are doing well, too.
Associate head/offensive coordinator coach Brent Vigen is making $300,000. Defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton is being paid $230,004, offensive line coach Scott Fuchs is making $180,000 and defensive ends coach/special teams coordinator A.J. Cooper is making $150,000.
Remember Beau Baldwin, the former head coach at FCS Eastern Washington who left after last season to become offensive coordinator at California of the Pac-12 Conference? He’s making $675,000. That’s why many Bison fans are watching what Klieman and his assistants do this offseason. There is nice money to be made even as assistant coaches in FBS.