Couple of Canes notes on a Saturday night:
▪ In moving from Mark Richt to Manny Diaz, UM has gone from having one of the 22 highest-paid coaches in college football to someone who would rank no higher than the lows 40s for head coaching salaries among college football’s 130 FBS programs.
According to multiple sources, Diaz’s new deal will start at about $3.1 million annually with small annual increases over the remainder of the five-year deal.
Richt was earning more than $4 million, with increases that would have moved closer to $5 million over the final four years of his contract.
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According to USA Today’s chart of college coaching salaries for the 2018 season, Richt earned $4.058 million in 2018.
The top five salaries: Alabama’s Nick Saban at $8.3 million, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer at $7.6 million, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh at $7.504 million, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher at $7.5 million and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn at $6.7 million.
Diaz’s salary, if compared to 2018 salaries, would have been 41st, comparable to the salaries of coaches at Georgia Tech, NC State, Pittsburgh and Mississippi.
Diaz, on average, would be earning more than Southern Cal’s Clay Helton, Duke’s David Cutcliffe and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, according to that USA Today chart.
Paying Diaz less than what Richt received will help UM cover the $4 million that UM had to give Temple to buy out Diaz’s freshly-signed contract. So Diaz, by accepting a deal with a salary well under Richt’s, essentially helped pay for the Temple buyout.
Though one Board of Trustee member was left with the strong impression that Richt received a severance package, one person with direct knowledge insisted that is not correct and that Richt did not receive any financial compensation for leaving. (And we don’t doubt what that ‘person with direct knowledge’ told us, though some companies do give severance packages to people who quit by choice, as was the case with Richt.)
Regardless, UM people marveled how Richt walked away from all of that money, well over $16 million left on his contract. Richt has earned considerable admiration for that.
▪ Punter Louis Hedley, the only UM nonbinding commitment who hasn’t signed yet with the Canes, tweeted that he will sign in February.
▪ With UM losing out to Georgia for Tyrique Stevenson and Alabama for Khris Bogle, the Canes stayed 42nd in Rivals’ 2019 recruiting rankings, behind Duke, Indiana and Oklahoma State. ESPN has Miami 34th.
▪ While the identity of UM’s next offensive coordinator remains a mystery, Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott has received consideration, according to an associate of Scott. It’s unclear if he would leave Clemson should UM make an offer; Scott is not Clemson’s primary play-caller, whereas UM is looking for a play-caller.
Two other candidates who received strong consideration, Larry Fedora and Major Applewhite, have not materialized. As of Friday evening, UM people were no longer expecting Applewhite to end up with the job, while not totally ruling it out.