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Mike Gundy’s Pay Raise at OSU Puts Him in Top 10 Salary Territory

Gundy inches up into a higher echelon in the coaching world.

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Last week, Oklahoma State announced Mike Gundy’s yearly salary increase and five-year contract rollover extending him through 2023 with an upcoming salary of $5.125 million for his 15th year at the helm.

The announcement was more of a formality than breaking news as both the escalator and rollover were signed into the deal when it was made following his Tennessee flirtation at the end of 2017. But that $5.125 million figure pushes him to an even higher echelon in college football.

Here’s a look at the highest-paid coaches in the country this past season (2018) as reported by USA Today by base salary and not including bonus or incentives, which can vary widely. For comparison’s sake, Gundy’s 2019 salary is listed.

Coach School Head Coach Pay Asst. Coach Pay
Nick Saban Alabama $8,307,000 $6,123,723
Urban Meyer Ohio State $7,600,000 $7,383,938
Jim Harbaugh Michigan $7,504,000 $5,875,000
Jimbo Fisher Texas A&M $7,500,000 $6,789,640
Gus Malzahn Auburn $6,700,000 $6,555,600
Dabo Swinney Clemson $6,205,000 $6,825,000
Dan Mullen Florida $6,070,000 $4,855,000
Tom Herman Texas $5,500,000 $5,955,000
Mike Gundy Oklahoma State $5,125,000 $4,150,000 ???
Lincoln Riley Oklahoma $5,000,000 $5,133,000

There will be some shuffling among the Top 10 for 2019 with Urban Meyer’s departure from his post at Ohio State and other deals yet to be made or finalized across the country. Meyer’s successor Ryan Day was signed to a five-year, $4.5 million deal which effectively opens up a spot at the top.

Lincoln Riley, who was signed to a five-year, $5 million contract in June, will also get a bump as a contract extension was announced by Oklahoma on January 1, but the particulars have yet to be announced on that deal. He’ll almost certainly make a notable leap ahead of his cross-state rival.

The assistant coaches budgets will also change for several schools, like Oklahoma State, once open positions on staffs are filled out.

Barring any huge changes that bump — plus attrition at the other OSU — means Gundy will be a Top 10-paid coach in 2019.

The knee-jerk reaction would be to lay that out next to a 7-6 season — and a huge upcoming year for Gundy and the trajetory of OSU’s program — and see how they measure up.

But Gundy (121-59 over his 14-year career) is the program’s winningest CEO and has built more than enough equity for OSU to want to keep him around for the foreseeable future, and the ongoing deal is all about something both the school and its head coach crave, stability.

What is basically a lifetime contract not only provides that longterm stability for both Gundy and OSU, his compensation hopefully keeps his eye from wandering the next time Tennessee or Baylor (?!) come calling.

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