While its Mountain West competitors have increased their investment in football in recent years, Boise State still outpaces its rivals in money spent on assistant football coaches.
Boise State’s nine assistant coaches will make $2.085 million under their contracts that cover the 2017 season — topped by defensive coordinator Andy Avalos’ $315,016.
The next-highest salary pool for assistants last year in the Mountain West belonged to Colorado State at $1.846 million, according to USA Today.
However, Colorado State has the conference’s highest-paid assistant: offensive coordinator Will Friend, who made $534,450 last year. Friend previously was the offensive line coach at Georgia, where total spending on assistant coaches was $4.675 million last year. That likely was the reason for his unusual salary.
Avalos is the second-highest-paid assistant in the Mountain West, based on last year’s numbers. In fact, Boise State had four of the seven highest-paid assistants in the conference last season.
Boise State coach Bryan Harsin makes $1.55 million this season and is under contract through at least 2021, with $100,000 raises each season. His contract automatically extends another season if the Broncos (5-2) win eight games. His 2017 salary is matched by Colorado State’s Mike Bobo and Fresno State’s Jeff Tedford in the Mountain West. Hawaii’s Nick Rolovich is the Mountain West’s lowest-paid coach at $402,102.
Harsin, a former Boise State quarterback, took a contract well below the standard set by predecessor Chris Petersen. Petersen was tracking toward a $3 million salary by 2017 if he had stayed with the Broncos.
However, Harsin negotiated a pool for assistant coach salaries into his contract that was near the same level as under Petersen. Assistant total pay under Harsin has been $2.05 million in 2014, $2.105 million in 2015, $2.04 million in 2016 and $2.085 million in 2017. The decrease from 2015 to 2016 was the result of coordinators Eliah Drinkwitz and Marcel Yates leaving and being replaced by less-experienced coaches.
The Broncos’ pool for assistants ranked fifth among the Group of Five conference schools last year, behind Houston, Memphis, Cincinnati and Central Florida of the American. The pool ranked first in 2014.