Texas is by far the largest of the 48 contiguous U.S. states, with 268, 596 square miles. That is over 100,000 miles larger than its closest competitor, California (163,695).
Like the state’s size itself, the salaries of high school football coaches in the Lone Star State appear to just be bigger.
According to data collected by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 28 coaches at the Class 5A or 6A level in the state make $120,000 or more, including five who make over $130,000.
Compare the Texas coaches’ salaries with those of, say, Bay Area (Calif.) public school coaches (in 2014, an average stipend of $3,700), and it’s apples and tuna fish.
Hank Carter, the coach of defending Texas Class 6A Division I champion Lake Travis (Austin), is the state’s highest-paid head coach at $155,156. Per the Star-Telegram, that’s $30,000 more than the school’s principal and almost triple the average salary of the school’s teachers.
“There’s no doubt Hank Carter is well paid,” Lake Travis Superintendent Brad Lancaster told the Star-Telegram.
Statewide, the Star-Telegram reports that football coaches earn an average of $98,668. Compare that to the average salary for a high school teacher ($55,221) or that of the principals at the state’s 5A and 6A schools (those with enrollments of 1,100 or more). Those principals earn an average of $117,744, per the Star-Telegram’s analysis.
That disparity does not go unnoticed.
“Our society places a lot of value on Friday night lights and our high school football teams,” Steven Poole, executive director of the United Educators Association, told the Star-Telegram. “I’m hoping someday society places that high of a value on teachers.”
You can read more of the Star-Telegram’s enlightening story, including a list of the salaries for every Class 5A or 6A head coach in the state, here.