Ohio State becomes first program to pay four assistant coaches at least $1 million annually

Ohio State released the salary information for its 10 full-time assistant football coaches on Monday, and the numbers show the program is on another level when it comes to investing in its staff. The Buckeyes are the first program to have not one, not two … but four assistant coaches top the $1 million annual salary mark. 

Defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs tops the list with a $1.4 million paycheck. Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson will get $1.2 million in 2020 while co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison and defensive line coach/associate head coach Larry Johnson will get about $1.13 million each. 

For reference, each one of Ohio State’s million-dollar assistants are being paid more than at least 40 other FBS coaches made in base pay a year ago, per USA Today‘s coaches salaries database. Per the assistant coach salary database, the four aforementioned Buckeye coaches would be among the top-20 highest-paid assistants in the game from 2019. 

Obviously, it’s not uncommon anymore for assistants to top the $1 million mark. Those numbers have been climbing past that benchmark for the past decade with the likes of Gus Malzahn, Chad Morris, Kirby Smart and others surpassing it during their days at the coordinator level. However, multiple assistants making at least $1 million is a newer thing in college football. Michigan was the first to do it in 2017 with Don Brown, Tim Drevno and Pep Hamilton. Clemson joined that club a year ago with Brent Venables, Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott. 

College football continually finds new arms races, and with Power Five money being what it is today, many blue blood schools are reinvesting that money into their assistant coaches salary pools. The four Ohio State coaches getting paid have certainly earned those raises. The Buckeyes have produced NFL-caliber defensive talent like few other programs over the past few years — Chase Young and Jeff Okudah are two surefire first-round picks this year — while the offense continues to be one most productive units in the game, finishing third in points per game in 2019. 

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