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Where Bryan Nardo’s Salary Stands among Other Defensive Coordinators in the Big 12

OSU gets its new DC on the cheap.



Screenshot/CowboyFB Twitter

Oklahoma State took a gamble on a relatively unknown in hiring Bryan Nardo earlier this year to replace outgoing defensive coordinator Derek Mason, but that gamble no doubt has some upside. And by upside I mean it appears to have saved OSU a fat stack of cash.

Mason was compensated $1.1 million in his one-and-done season as OSU’s defensive playcaller, but Nardo, according to a report this week, will receive just over half of that — at $650K annually.

That pay grade makes him roughly middle-of-the-pack in the Big 12 according to publicly available data on the interwebs. However, that’s if you don’t include data from TCU and Baylor, private schools whose salaries aren’t readily available.

TCU just made the College Football Playoff so it’s safe to assume Joe Gillespie makes more than the league average. Same for incoming Baylor DC Matt Powledge, who was signed to a deal for $700K annually at Oregon before the Bears swooped in and presumably gave him a sweeter deal.

If we’re to assume Gillespie and Powledge make more than the coordinators at Kansas and Kansas State (which, uhm, duh), then Nardo’s salary ranks next-to-last in the league ahead of only KU’s Brian Borland and K-State’s Joe Klanderman. (Though Klanderman just helped lead the school to a Big 12 title, so he may be in line for a bump past Nardo range, too.)

Highest paid on the list should come as no surprise with Texas — by far — shelling out the most annual salary for its coordinator, Pete Kwiatkowski. Kwiatkowski is netting $1.7 million ahead of OU’s Ted Roof and Texas Tech’s Tim Deruyter, the only three coaches in the league known to be earning in the seven figures.

TexasPete Kwiatkowski$1,700,000.00
OUTed Roof$1,150,000.00
Texas TechTim Deruyter~$1,000,000
Iowa StateJon Heacock$850,000.00
West VirginiaJordan Lesley$700,000.00
OSUBryan Nardo$650,000.00
KansasBrian Borland$600,000.00
Kansas StateJoe Klanderman$600,000.00
TCUJoe GillespieUnknown
BaylorMatt PowledgeUnknown

Mike Gundy’s hiring of Nardo raised some initial questions — such as, wait, what? why? and seriously? — but it’s clear he has a plan to build the program moving forward by cost-saving in this area. Similar to how he identified and groomed Mike Yurcich from Shippensburg, Gundy gets Nardo’s services on the cheap coming from a Division-II school, has likely bought some loyalty (i.e. he won’t have to hire another D.C. next year like he’s done the last two years), and may have hit big if initial reactions from those who seem to know pan out to be true of Nardo’s coaching acumen.

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