FSU Athletic Department Salaries: What Coaches Really Make

By: Lauren searcy Email
By: Lauren searcy Email

FSU is known for its national championships, Heisman winners and NCAA appearances. Millions of dollars go into building a nationally acclaimed athletic program. As sports spending increases many folks might be wondering who's forking out the cash. Officials at Florida State University say it's not taxpayers.

"We have a budget within athletics that we generate ourselves. We are one of a very few, inside of 20 schools in the country that operate in the black, we make enough money to cover our expenses," said Rob Wilson, the Associate Athletic Director for Communications.

But Florida State University is a public university and is funded by state dollars. So, technically every dollar the university gets belongs to you, the taxpayer. So, why is the athletic department separate?

Officials say it's through ticket revenue, licensed product revenue and Seminole Booster funds that pay athletic salaries. In a sense they fund themselves.

In the past few years all public universities in Florida have suffered massive budget cuts and as professor salaries are slashed and positions cut, some university paychecks get bigger and bigger.

Jimbo Fisher is the highest paid person in the athletic department, and makes more than $240,000 a year based on salary alone. That does not include money from boosters or endorsements.

Men's Basketball Coach Leonard Hamilton Makes a little more than $200,000 a year, and Women's basketball Coach Sue Semrau makes just under $200,000. The lowest paid member of the football coaching staff makes $160,000 a year.

The top positions at the university all make well over $240,000, and President Barron makes close to $400,000 a year. Most of those making that much money are deans of colleges or are in a high administrative role. The average professor at Florida State University makes close to $80,000 a year.

A new president was welcomed into the university a few weeks ago and his reign might usher in a new era for taxpayers, a more clearly defined era.

"I think it's extremely important for people to hear, from the top of the university, that here are what the facts are, here is the box we are in and here is where we have room to push out of the box and where we don't, and here are the decisions we're making. And also to invite feedback," said Eric Barron, Ph.D., FSU President.

Feedback that could change paychecks in the future.

Folks at the athletic department and the university say that to the naked eye these salaries might seem inflated but they are all based on market value, if you want the best, you have to pay for it.

The following figures are based on salary alone and do not include bonuses, booster donations, or endorsements.

Football coaching staff salaries:
Vic Viloria - Two year contract. Base salary $160,000

James Coley - Three year contact. Base salary $205,000 + $100,000 for speaking engagements/public relations

Demeyune Craig - Two year contract. Base salary $175,000

Lawrence Dawsey - Two year contract. Base salary $205,000 + $15,000 for speaking engagements/public relations

Eddie Gran - Three year contract. Base salary $205,000 + $100,000 for speaking engagements/public relations

Odell Haggins - Two year contract. Base salary $205,000 + $45,00 for speaking engagements/public relations

Greg Hudson - Two year contract. Base salary $205,000 + $100,000 for speaking engagements/public relations

Mark Stoops - Three year contract. Base salary $205,000 + $195,000 for speaking engagements/public relations

Darin "D.J." Eliot’s - Two year contract. Base salary $175,000

Other top paid Athletic positions:

Athletic Director
Randy Spetman - $ 205,000

Men's Basketball coach Leonard Hamilton - $205,000

Women's Basketball Coach Sue Semrau - $ 199,875

Men's Track and Field Coach Bob Braman - $160,000

Baseball Head Coach Mike Martin - $149,478

Women's Soccer Head Coach - $ 128,109

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