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.