With football coaching salaries on the rise, here's how ACC shakes out

It is getting more and more expensive to hire a good college football coach. Here's a look at the salaries of each ACC head coach.
Dec 9, 2023; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils new football head coach Manny Diaz greets
Dec 9, 2023; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils new football head coach Manny Diaz greets / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
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It's getting more and more expensive for universities to sponsor a football program. That's especially true if a school wants to be competitive on a national scale.

Thursday, it was announced that Georgia head coach Kirby Smart had become the highest-paid NCAA head coach of all time when he inked a two-year contract extension that raises his salary to $13 million per year. That raise moved him ahead of Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, who will make $11 million this year as the second-highest-paid coach in the NCAA.

The extension for Smart extends his deal to the year 2033 making his total contract now worth somewhere around $130 million. Of course, many say that is deserved given that he's won two of the last three National Championships and has gone 42-2 over the last three years.

There are now five head coaches in America making at least $10 million annually. That group also includes Texas' Steve Sarkisian, Alabama’s Kalen DeBoer, and Florida State’s Mike Norvell.

So how do the ACC coaches stack up? Let's take a look. (All salaries are for the 2023 season unless otherwise noted and are according to CollegeSportsWire.com.)

Unknown Salaries: Manny Diaz at Duke, Troy Taylor at Stanford, Rhett Lashlee at SMU, and Mario Cristobal at Miami

Only public universities are required to report employee salaries. Therefore, we don't know how much Duke's Manny Diaz, Stanford's Troy Taylor, Rhett Lashlee at SMU, and Miami's Mario Cristobal earn as all four universities are private.

. $2.8 million. Brent Key. player. Salary. . 436. 13. . Brent Key

The lowest-paid head coach in the ACC is Georgia Tech's Brent Key. He made $2.8 million in 2023, which was 60th nationally.

The Georgia Tech alum did a great job in 2023, his first full season in charge. He took a team that little was expected of to a 7-6 season. If he keeps improving the program, the school will have to up his salary or risk losing him to some bigger programs.

. Brent Pry. 12. Brent Pry. player. 447. . $4.0 million. Salary.

Next is Brent Pry at Virginia Tech. Making $4.0 million in 2023, he was the 51st highest-paid coach in the nation.

After two years on the job, Pry appears to have the Hokies headed in the right direction. After a 3-8 debut season, Pry took his team to a 6-6 regular season and then a victory in the Military Bowl for a winning season in 2023.

. . Fran Brown. 11. 445. Salary. . . Fran Brown. player

Exact contract numbers have not been released for new Syracuse head coach Fran Brown. However, it is believed that his new contract could be worth as much as $4.0 million per year.

As Georgia's defensive backs coach and lead recruiter, he reportedly made almost $1 million in his final season at Georgia. That included a base salary of $788,009.