Think that one must take a vow of poverty to serve as a high school coach? Think again.
According to data collected by the Houston Chronicle, 15 different high school football coaches in Houston and its immediate suburbs earn more than $100,000 per year. Those figures don’t even include extra income gained from football camps or other efforts on the part of the coaches themselves.
Naturally, a six-figure income is not the be-all, end-all proof of a professional’s success. But it is enlightening, and shows where the focus is for a number of football programs in one of America’s largest cities, regardless of how successful they are.
For the record, all of the head coaches in Katy, a Houston suburb, have salaries that top the century mark. And the lowest salary among the 61 compiled by the Chronicle was still $75,000, hardly a ticket to abject poverty.
The true test of relative wage inflation in the coaching ranks comes when the salaries for football coaches are compared to those of teachers. According to this chart, the mean salary for a secondary school educator in the state of Texas is $51,800; in the Houston-Sugar Land area specifically that number increases to $52,370.
What does that tell us? That some Houston schools view their football coaches are roughly twice as valuable as an average teacher. Given the resources, attention and public pride high school football generates, they may have a point. Or, perhaps, these salaries are just the latest proof that scholastic athletics have grown way out of hand. You decide.