In 2019, Nevada's Jay Norvell was the lowest-paid head football coach in the Mountain West. So where does his new five-year contract announced Tuesday put Norvell on the MW salary totem pole? Well, still last. Norvell's new deal will pay him a guaranteed base salary and compensation package totaling $625,000 per season, which is the highest for a Nevada football coach in program history. But that total still ranks last in the MW, whose average head football coach salary is $1.14 million. Norvell's extension did bump his annual salary by $125,000 a year and will include more athletic and academic bonuses than his original deal. But it's still the low-water mark for the conference.
Here is what every head football coach in the MW will make in guaranteed salary for the 2020 season.
1. Boise State's Bryan Harsin, $1.850 million
2. Wyoming's Craig Bohl, $1.55 million
3t. Colorado State's Steve Addazio, $1.5 million
3t. UNLV's Marcus Arroyo, $1.5 million
5. Fresno State's Kalen DeBoer, $1.3 million
6. San Diego State's Brady Hoke, $1 million
7. Utah State's Gary Anderson, $900,000
8. San Jose State's Brent Brennan, $850,000
9. Hawaii's Todd Graham, $760,000
10. New Mexico's Danny Gonzales, $700,000
11. Nevada's Jay Norvell, $625,000
Note: Air Force's Troy Calhoun agreed to a new six-year contract last month, although financial terms are not public. It's fair to assume he is in the seven-figure range. “With an increased investment came an increased buyout,” Air Force AD Nathan Pine told the Colorado Springs Gazette. “I’ll leave it just that simple. At the end of the day, we handle our contracts the way we do for a reason.”
Norvell's a bargain as long as he can maintain the seven- or eight-win pace he has for the last two seasons. With Nevada's 2020 schedule (it's easy), seven wins seems like a bare minimum in 2020. The MW has hired six new coaches this offseason, and they all made out well. The six new coaches will average $1.13 million in 2020, right in line with the MW average. With Norvell, Calhoun and Brennan all getting new deals this offseason, nine of the conference's 12 coaches will be on the first year of long-term deals in 2020. All 12 coaches in the MW have a contract that runs through 2023.