An overhauled football coaching staff, a pay bump for the man in charge and raises to a small portion of a 209-person staff.
Add it all up and the Tennessee athletic department will see salaries rise by 9.1 percent in the upcoming academic year, according to a complete list of salaries acquired by a News Sentinel through an open records request.
Thanks in large part to newly hired football coach Butch Jones, a $1,905,787 increase in salaries will bring the sum of UT athletic department salaries to $22,765,793 spread over those aforementioned 209 employees in the list provided.
When the News Sentinel ran a similar study on athletic department salaries 13 months ago, a total of 195 employees accounted for $20,860,006 in salaries.
Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess // Buy this photo
A new football coaching staff, or more precisely, a new football coach, is the primary reason for the rise. Hart hired Jones on Dec. 7, 2012, plucking him from Cincinnati as a replacement for fired predecessor Derek Dooley. Jones signed a six-year contract worth $18.2 million.
The difference between last year’s $5.935 million for Dooley and his 20-man staff and the cost of Jones and his 22-person operation costing $6.945 million, is Jones. He earns exactly $950,000 more than Dooley.
According to the records acquired by the News Sentinel, Jones will earn $2.95 million in 2013-14. Dooley was paid $2 million in 2012-13.
Including Jones, 10 of the top 20 salaries in the athletic department belong to members of the football coaching staff.
The remainder of the top 20 includes two basketball coaches and two assistants, four administrators and coaches Dave Serrano (baseball) and J.J. Clark (track and field, cross country).
Hart will receive the largest raise in the department, going from $750,000 in 2012-13 to $785,018 in 2013-14. That figure does not include a contract-mandated $50,000 retention bonus that Hart receives annually.
The interim athletic director whom Hart replaced, Joan Cronan, is still on the books for $355,000 in her role as athletic director emeritus. The 30-year employee of UT is working out the remainder of a buyout worth $1.29 million, according to documents obtained by the News Sentinel through a previous public records request. Cronan will remain with the university until June 30, 2014.
The largest salary drop in 2013-14 belongs to women’s head coach emeritus Pat Summitt. In May she agreed to a one-year contract extension worth $85,000 after earning $354,375 in the same role last year.
Other raises of note are men’s associate head basketball coach Tracy Webster, who received a $22,000 bump up to $215,000, and associate athletics director for development Dara Worrell, whose $13,800 raise brings her salary to $98,800.
In breaking down the $6,944,931 spent on football salaries, in addition to Jones’ $2.95 million, $3,195,000 goes to nine on-field assistants and $799,931 is spread among a 12-person support staff.
By comparison, Alabama, the SEC’s bellwether, pours out $9,980,000 for Nick Saban ($5.6 million annually) and his nine on-field assistants, according to AL.com.
The five highest paid female employees in the now-combined men’s and women’s athletic department are women’s basketball coach Holly Warlick ($485,000, fourth highest overall), Cronan ($355,000, 11th overall), assistant basketball coach Kyra Elzy ($230,625, 17th overall), Donna Thomas ($170,000, 27th overall) and softball co-head coach Karen Weekly ($152,000, tied 34th overall).
The two newest employees of the department, assistant baseball coach Aric Thomas and assistant track and field coach John Newell, are earning $130,000 and $78,000, respectively.
Highest paid salaries in the University of Tennessee athletic department
Name - Title - Salary
1. Butch Jones - football coach - $2,950,000
2. Cuonzo Martin - men’s basketball coach - $1,350,000
3. Dave Hart - athletic director - $785,018
4. Holly Warlick - women’s basketball coach - $485,000
5. Mike Bajakian - football offensive coordinator - $475,000
5. John Jancek - football defensive coordinator - $475,000
7. Dave Serrano - baseball coach - $450,000
8. Steve Stripling - football defensive line coach - $380,000
9. Joan Cronan - athletic director emeritus - $355,000
10. Don Mahoney - football offensive line coach - $350,000
10. Willie Martinez - football defensive backs coach - $350,000
12. Tommy Thigpen - football linebackers coach - $345,000
13. Zach Azzanni - football wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator - $300,000
13. Robert Gillespie - football running backs coach - $300,000
15. J.J. Clark - director of track and field and cross country - $245,000
16. Kyra Elzy - assistant women’s basketball coach - $230,625
17. Mark Elder - football tight ends coach - $220,000
18. Tracy Webster - associate men’s basketball coach - $215,000
19. Jon Gilbert - executive senior associate athletic director - $205,000
20. Mike Ward - senior associate AD for administration and sports programs - $196,800
Source: University of Tennessee.
Annual salaries for head coaches at Tennessee
Sport - Name - Salary
Baseball - Dave Serrano - $450,000
Men’s basketball - Cuonzo Martin - $1,350,000
Women’s basketball - Holly Warlick - $485,000
Football - Butch Jones - $2,950,000
Men’s golf - Jim Kelson - $115,000
Women’s golf - Judi Pavon - $105,000
Rowing - Lisa Glenn - $112,717
Soccer - Brian Pensky - $150,000
Softball - Ralph Weekly and Karen Weekly - $152,000 apiece
Swimming and diving - Matt Kredich - $164,800
Men’s tennis - Sam Winterbotham - $169,373
Women’s tennis - Mike Patrick and Sonia Hahn-Patrick - $115,668 apiece
Track and field/Cross country - J.J. Clark - $245,000
Volleyball - Rob Patrick - $156,591
Source: University of Tennessee