Staff payroll hasn't reached ceiling

Reaves to earn $150,000; strength coach at $190,000

As Tennessee's coaching staff continues to take shape, its payroll is beginning to come into focus.

When UT hired Lane Kiffin as its new head coach on Nov. 1, athletic director Mike Hamilton said the budget for assistant coaches would grow "significantly" this year.

Just how much, though, remains to be seen.

On Wednesday, UT provided a salary for assistant coach David Reaves in response to an open records request.

Reaves, who earned $126,000 last year as South Carolina quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator, will earn $150,000 at UT. Reaves, who is Kiffin's brother-in-law, has not yet been assigned a position.

UT also said head strength and conditioning coach Mark Smith will earn $190,000.

Smith's salary, which was $140,000 last year as South Carolina's strength coach, is not included in the Vols' pool for assistant coaches.

Salaries for UT's most expensive hires - defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron, who also has the title of assistant head coach - have not been released.

Orgeron, a former head coach at Ole Miss and defensive line coach with the New Orleans Saints, is expected to earn around $600,000 this season.

Monte Kiffin, a veteran NFL coach who spent the last 13 seasons as Tampa Bay's defensive coordinator, is expected to earn more than $1 million.

More precise figures and terms of those deals are unavailable for those two, and the rest of UT's new staff, because their contracts have not been completed.

"We are obviously still in the process of finalizing the assistant coaches," Hamilton said, "(both) who we're going to hire as assistant coaches and also the final memoranda of understanding with all of the assistant coaches, which will ultimately determine their contracts and the final salary pool."

Still, Monte Kiffin and Orgeron could account for nearly all of last year's payroll for assistant coaches by themselves.

The Vols paid their nine assistant football coaches $1.935 million in 2008, including $340,000 each for offensive coordinator Dave Clawson, now coach at Bowling Green, and defensive coordiantor John Chavis, now at LSU.

Offensive line coach Greg Adkins, now at Syracuse, and defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell, whose name has surfaced with an opening on the Ole Miss staff, were UT's highest paid position coaches in 2008, earning $200,000 each.

Four coaches earned $175,000 or less last season, with wide receivers coach Latrell Scott, now at Virginia, the lowest paid at $150,000.

While the jump in pay for UT's nine assistant coaches will be significant, Lane Kiffin's smaller contract mitigates the overall staff cost.

According to an memorandum of understanding released Dec. 1, Lane Kiffin will earn $2 million in his first season. Former UT coach Phillip Fulmer was scheduded to earn $2.55 million in 2009.

The difference of $550,000 will go toward Lane Kiffin's inaugural staff, lessening the total cost for all 10 coaches.

The remaining official figures for this year's staff will be announced after UT's staff is in place and deals are finalized.

"There are at a minimum verbal agreements with each of those coaches what they will be paid," Hamilton said. "The process of formal documentation is ongoing with each of those and in different places with each of those."

With signing day three weeks away, the Vols will likely move quickly to fill out their staff.

Kiffin has already hired five assistants: Orgeron, Monte Kiffin, Reaves, former Oakland Raiders offensive line coach James Cregg and former Purdue offensive coordinator and St. Louis Rams tight ends coach Jim Chaney.

Depending on the future of running backs coach Stan Drayton, the lone holdover from last year's staff, the Vols could have room for four more assistant coaches.

Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 164

JKW50 writes:

holy poop, an article that actually mentions our oc!

jwright13#576991 writes:

.....

vols_fan_n_tx writes:

This could be viewed as the the prototype for college coaching staffs. Instead of busting the bank for the head coach (can you say Saban), get some top assistants and spread the wealth.

BigOrangeVol writes:

The down side is that the assistants now have a two to three times higher buyout if we fire them!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to vols_fan_n_tx:

This could be viewed as the the prototype for college coaching staffs. Instead of busting the bank for the head coach (can you say Saban), get some top assistants and spread the wealth.

Hot-shot CEO or top shelf managers? I'll take the awesome assistants every time. Let Lane close recruiting deals, oversee game plans, call timeouts, chew tails when needed, and kiss up to boosters and administrators. I'd drop the big bucks on the men who will: teach 18 year old kids how to be SEC football players, out-scheme our nemeses in Gainsville, Athens, and Tuscaloosa, and light a fire under some pampered upperclassmen. Yes, a hot-shot CEO is tasty icing but the cake underneath has to be good or it doesn't really matter. Go Vols!!!

bluetick writes:

Shouldn't it read strength coach at $190K ? Or did I read it wrong once again. :-??

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to BigOrangeVol:

The down side is that the assistants now have a two to three times higher buyout if we fire them!

You're right. Just talked to a buddy of mine and thought of the same thing. It can either be a good thing or a bad thing. Good, because we could attract some tallented coaches (we'll see about this crew he's got this fall) and we put pressure on other teams in the SEC who are paying the HC a lot and their assist a little. Bad...well, just as you stated. The buyout. Also, what if CLF happens to surprise us with an SEC title within the next 2 years? Then we'll have to up his pay. Then there's Phil still on the payroll.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to BigOrangeVol:

The down side is that the assistants now have a two to three times higher buyout if we fire them!

If they're worth what we're paying them, they won't need buyouts - someone else will want them. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that most of our former assistants have been rehired already. Good for our bottom line but a little hard to understand. If they were that good, why were we so bad the past few years? Go figure. Go Vols!!!

joshvols writes:

is the rest of the staff going to be filled out by signing day? i know Coach Kiff has been preaching patience on the coaching staff front, but it would seem like a good idea to have people in place before that first week in feb.

bluetick writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

not to mention for the state of Florida.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to Down_The_Field:

You're right. Just talked to a buddy of mine and thought of the same thing. It can either be a good thing or a bad thing. Good, because we could attract some tallented coaches (we'll see about this crew he's got this fall) and we put pressure on other teams in the SEC who are paying the HC a lot and their assist a little. Bad...well, just as you stated. The buyout. Also, what if CLF happens to surprise us with an SEC title within the next 2 years? Then we'll have to up his pay. Then there's Phil still on the payroll.

Of course, if CLK wins an SEC championship or two, or (gasp!) a NC, then money won't be an object anyway. I think Hammy got it right. Pay him less now, more if he performs as promised. We'll see. Go Vols!!!

BigOrangeVol writes:

The other downside is that if they do a great job then we have to increase their salary to keep 'em!

So in two years Orgeron is going to want 1.1 mill and in four years he'll want 1.3 mill.

This is a slippery-slope folks!!!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to BigOrangeVol:

The other downside is that if they do a great job then we have to increase their salary to keep 'em!

So in two years Orgeron is going to want 1.1 mill and in four years he'll want 1.3 mill.

This is a slippery-slope folks!!!

In two years Orgeron will probably be the DC and will expect to make that. I'm afraid you're right about the slippery slope but we already slipped (as did Texas, Florida State, etc...) so I'm gonna stay positive. We are getting some of the best people in the business to resurrect our moribund program. We are spending money to make money, which is an age-old adage that is right as rain in business. Will it work in college football? We are about to find out! Go Vols!!!

MrBamSeydu writes:

Smart people build smarter people around them.

JKW50 writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

yeah bc the running backs were awesome this yr

VOLINCALI writes:

These guys won't get raises. They will get head coaching jobs!

VOLINCALI writes:

Except the strength coach.

NoogaVol55 writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

Of course, if CLK wins an SEC championship or two, or (gasp!) a NC, then money won't be an object anyway. I think Hammy got it right. Pay him less now, more if he performs as promised. We'll see. Go Vols!!!

Bingo!!! If we start winning championships, money will be the least of our worries. More fan support, sponsors, etc. I say we cross that bridge when we get there.

NoogaVol55 writes:

in response to VOLINCALI:

These guys won't get raises. They will get head coaching jobs!

And if that happens, it won't be a bad thing. It will attract better coaches to our program. Look at USC. Pete Carroll loses 1 or 2 coaches every couple of years, but they maintain. I think it is a big compliment to have our coaches sought after by other programs, it means we are doing something right.

NoogaVol55 writes:

Spurrier's staff continues to get raided:

http://www.thestate.com/gogamecocks/s...

Pretty funny if you ask me!

VOLINCALI writes:

Nooga - Exactly my thoughts.

What is a Nooga anyway?

bluetick writes:

in response to NoogaVol55:

Spurrier's staff continues to get raided:

http://www.thestate.com/gogamecocks/s...

Pretty funny if you ask me!

Good one!

NoogaVol55 writes:

in response to VOLINCALI:

Nooga - Exactly my thoughts.

What is a Nooga anyway?

Chattanooga, TN...

ChattanoogaVol55...seemed a bit long!!

txsvol#372416 writes:

in response to NoogaVol55:

Chattanooga, TN...

ChattanoogaVol55...seemed a bit long!!

I'm coming home tomorrow, Nooga. I guess it will be in the teens on the mountains at night. Got to dress warmer than I'm used to, although it was 24 where I was working this morning. Go Vols SAVol

NoogaVol55 writes:

in response to txsvol#372416:

I'm coming home tomorrow, Nooga. I guess it will be in the teens on the mountains at night. Got to dress warmer than I'm used to, although it was 24 where I was working this morning. Go Vols SAVol

Dress warm my friend. I heard on the news that the high is 33 and the low is 10.

I am waiting on Al Gore to explain to me why Global Warming hasn't reached the Noog!

gnm53108 writes:

in response to NoogaVol55:

Dress warm my friend. I heard on the news that the high is 33 and the low is 10.

I am waiting on Al Gore to explain to me why Global Warming hasn't reached the Noog!

When you talk to him can you ask him how do we speed it up?It's too freakin cold.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to JKW50:

yeah bc the running backs were awesome this yr

Was there a position on offense that wasn't absolutley horrific last year?

gnm53108 writes:

in response to General_Watermelon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why?

Did TDTN get set free?

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to NoogaVol55:

Spurrier's staff continues to get raided:

http://www.thestate.com/gogamecocks/s...

Pretty funny if you ask me!

I bet Giles wishes he didnt wake up that morning with Lamecocks on his mind.anyone think he is having second thoughts about now ?

gnm53108 writes:

in response to chrisw2967:

I bet Giles wishes he didnt wake up that morning with Lamecocks on his mind.anyone think he is having second thoughts about now ?

Yeh,but would Coach Kiffin still offer?We are in the middle of a couple,and already got one commited.

If he is going to change his mind,he better hurry.

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

in response to bluetick:

Shouldn't it read strength coach at $190K ? Or did I read it wrong once again. :-??

Who cares? These sportswriters like to pull our strings and act like all of this money is coming out of our pockets, while at the same time applauding BO and the 150,000,000 million he's spending on his little homecoming the 20th. I am telling you people that these sportswriters are TOAST! I feel sorry for their wives and families, I wonder what yarns they weave for them? A much better article and with just as much effect would be if they and JOhn Adams too would all come out in their underwear! Have a good day, and God Bless America, home of the free, not of the oppressed!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to joshvols:

is the rest of the staff going to be filled out by signing day? i know Coach Kiff has been preaching patience on the coaching staff front, but it would seem like a good idea to have people in place before that first week in feb.

Seems like patience would be better and get the people he wants. This recruiting year good or bad is not his.

mmynatt writes:

Can I get a job on this staff? I will come in at half of what Orgeron makes:)

volinjapan writes:

I really didn't need to see those salary's! Ouch!

volinjapan writes:

in response to 5_and_15:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

GerryOP writes:

233

volfan1967 writes:

in response to 5_and_15:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

rockytoplady writes:

in response to vol1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey there, why don't you come home for good? I don't see how you stand it out there. Tennessee is special.

ethanfrome writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

Smart people build smarter people around them.

Dumb people surround themselves with smart people but don't listen to them.
-George W. Bush

ctownvol writes:

I'm still available coach Kiffin. I'm just sayin'...

tnbigg writes:

Forwarded Message from tngeoff who remains in a secret location - banned from GoVolsXTRA for reasons unknown:

"This staff is looking GREAT! What a refreshing break from recent times past! Go Vols!"

GH

ctownvol writes:

Hey there bigg. Please pass along well-wishes to Geoff. Hope he is doing well...

tnbigg writes:

in response to ctownvol:

Hey there bigg. Please pass along well-wishes to Geoff. Hope he is doing well...

Hey ctown! Will do...thanks Bro'!

hueypilot writes:

So in keeping with media's craving for the tittillating rather than the factual, it took two thirds of the story to determine, altho I suspected it from the beginning, that the overall cost of pay and benefits for the coaching staff is equal to ot less than that of the old coacing staff, which I'm sure can't be said for Alabama, Florida, or Georgia, after the Saban, Meyer, Richt hires. Thanks for clouding the real story well after you've put the salacious at the forefront. Do you really have to have any spine to be a journalist these days?

UTnDC writes:

I am sick of the salary articles; do you guys have nothing else to report? Give it a break.

Hudro writes:

in response to bluetick:

Good one!

Interesting they get jarvis giles on campus and then his position coach bolts for Okla State. Think he told the kid he was leaving?
The rats are jumping off a burning ship. Better to get a job now rather than wait till next year when Visor Man quits and a new regime comes in.

blitzshoot writes:

These coaches leaving reminds me of what happened at UT
when Cut and Troop left.

blitzshoot writes:

in response to blitzshoot:

These coaches leaving reminds me of what happened at UT
when Cut and Troop left.

Im speaking of the coaches leaving South Carolina.

Jamey1210 writes:

in response to rockytoplady:

Hey there, why don't you come home for good? I don't see how you stand it out there. Tennessee is special.

We got alot of Chatt boys on this site. I am from Maryville but live in Chatt now. We need to get Vol club going at one of the sports bars. Just a suggestion

Jamey1210 writes:

So do you think the plain is headed to Jarvis's house? I would not doubt we try to make another push at him after this. Man that would be one heck of a running back class if we could pick him back up. Probably won't happen but I have seen crazier things happen.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features