There was quite a kerfuffle when the Fort Worth Star-Telegram released a study which tracked the highest-paid high school football coaches in the state, led by Lake Travis coach Hank Carter, at 155,000. Now we can confirm that those salaries are certainly not universal.
According to a report by Minnesota twin cities CBS affiliate WCCO, the average head football coach in the land of 10,000 lakes earns a stipend, not a salary, and that stipend ranges between comically low and marginal, at best. WCCO’s research survey collected answers from as low as $700 to a high of $25,000, all as additional stipend on top of the coach’s full-time salary as a teacher or administrator.
To say that there is a striking disparity between the salaries pulled down by Texas’ most prestigious prep football coaches and the ones living in Minnesota is a dramatic understatement. Anoka-Hennepin School District Associate Superintendent Jeff McGonigal joked that high school coaches typically survive in, “$1 an hour jobs.”
Making matters even more difficult for school districts in Minnesota to retain their best is the fact that high school booster clubs, the shadowy groups that fundraise and generate attention and goodwill (but mostly fundraise) are legally not allowed to supplement a coach’s salary, meaning that what a school district says they get is definitively what they get. Even at a perennial state and national power like Eden Prairie.
“They’re not doing because they’re going to make that kind of money,” McGonigal told WCCO. ‘They’re doing it because they love kids and they love coaching.”
Apparently in Minnesota, that’s enough. In Texas and some other high profile states? You better add another digit to the salary before approaching whichever coach you want.