America Invests in the Future of College Coaches

Is your state's highest paid employee a coach?

Greetings. Each week I try to post at least one comic strip or graphic that makes you (or me) think. The above graphic shows who is the highest-paid public employee for each state. Public employee means they work at a state institution funded by public money (taxes). This is not a debate I am well versed in, but I thought the graphic was interesting and I wanted your thoughts about it.

Does anyone know if the above graphic is accurate? I have no problem accepting that a coach is the highest paid employee at a college. That is pretty easy for me to accept. I’m not sure if the graphic is accurate because of the contribution of athletic boosters. It is true that several colleges lose money because of their athletic programs. But, at least for the big time programs, there is normally a megarich booster (or several boosters) who support a lot of the athletic programs. Does it still count as being a public employee when so much of the money comes from private funds instead of taxes? This is more semantics than anything. The main argument presented in this article is that having a big-time athletic program that generates millions in revenue doesn’t really matter because the coaches’ salaries prevent this money from going back to the college.

Perhaps the more disappointing part of this graphic should be that it reflects American priorities for education. The highest paid person at many colleges is not a professor… but an athletic coach. The potential investment in our nation’s future does not go into teachers, research or technology… but to coaches.

What are your thoughts?

6 thoughts on “America Invests in the Future of College Coaches

  1. Nevada struck me as odd. A plastic surgeon? Wow!

    The Dakotas are easily explained since their top sports stars go to college in Minnesota and/or Nebraska.

    I wonder how many of these states are influenced by the one or two “star” coaches, followed by a big gap until the next coach. I’m sure that med school faculty have to occupy a largest portion of the upper ranks even when they don’t get the top spot.

      1. Wow! That’d still be a large med school MD salary. Even with a few kids, I think I could happily live well on it, until I had to go to work at a job I would hate (college football coach). Fortunately, I’m under-qualified for that job. Irregular armchair coach is not the most persuasive CV filler.

  2. I thought this was a joke. This is serious? That is kind of messed up. Why do sports take such priority in US?

    1. I do not think it is a joke. Other than the governor, or a university president, I am not sure any other state employee could come close to the millions that some college coaches make. College sports take such a priority because of gambling ( I mean, the team building that occurs from winning ) and preparing elite athletes for pro sports ( I mean, life skills ) … hmmm… I’m kinda snarky tonite. I should take a nap

Join the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s