Checking in at a base salary of more than $4 million, Petersen isn't the second-ranked coach on the list, either.

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Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez ranks as the highest-paid coach in the Pac-12 Conference this year, according to an annual analysis of college football coaching salaries conducted by USA Today.

Rodriguez’s bump stems largely from a retention bonus in his contract, which covers about half of his $6 million salary this year, USA Today reports.

Stanford’s David Shaw ranks second in the Pac-12 with a total compensation of $5.68 million. Washington’s Chris Petersen is third at about $4.13 million this year, and Washington State’s Mike Leach is seventh at just over $3 million.

Earlier this year, Petersen signed a contract extension with an average salary of $4.875 million through the 2023 season. That includes a scheduled salary of $5.625 million in the final year of the deal.

Alabama’s Nick Saban, earning $11.1 million, is the highest-paid coach in the country this year.

Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, at $40 million, has the largest buyout in the country (if he were to be fired without cause). Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher has a buyout of $39.3 million, and Petersen is third with a buyout of $30.6 million (which is essentially the balance of his new contract).


1. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona, $6,031,563
2. David Shaw, Stanford, $5,680,441
3. Chris Petersen, UW, $4,127,500
4. Kyle Whittingham, Utah, $3,687,917
5. Jim Mora, UCLA, $3,550,000
6. Todd Graham, ASU, $3,208,779
7. Mike Leach, WSU, $3,075,000
8. Willie Taggart, Oregon, $2,900,000
9. Mike MacIntyre, Colorado, $2,803,500
10. Gary Andersen, OSU, $2,650,000
11. Justin Wilcox, Cal, $1,600,000

Notes: Compensation listed does not include bonuses. USC, a private school, is not listed.
Source: USA Today