Salaries in Tennessee athletic department rise 9.1 percent over a year ago

Salaries at UT rise 9.1 percent over a year ago

The top 20 highest paid UT athletic department employees. (JOHN KUNZA/NEWS SENTINEL)

The top 20 highest paid UT athletic department employees. (JOHN KUNZA/NEWS SENTINEL)

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.

Don’t bother trying to figure out a salary average. The figure is a moot point. Jones, athletic director Dave Hart and basketball coach Cuonzo Martin account for 22.3 percent of the salary sum.

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.

Athletics director Dave Hart and head football coach Butch Jones chat while waiting for the University of Tennessee Lady Vols softball team to return from the Womens College World Series, Wednesday, June 5, 2013. The Lady VOls fell to Oklahoma in the finals, ending their season 52-12. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess // Buy this photo

Athletics director Dave Hart and head football coach Butch Jones chat while waiting for the University of Tennessee Lady Vols softball team to return from the Womens College World Series, Wednesday, June 5, 2013. The Lady VOls fell to Oklahoma in the finals, ending their season 52-12. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

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

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 25

MikeNPS writes:

Athletic Director Hart has yet to earn his salary. This guy not only does NOT deserve any salary increase, but rather should return part of his salary based on his failure to perform. Vols fans are not under any obligation to line his pockets while he has failed to demonstrate any results.

thevoice writes:

If Jones' salary is at all contingent upon how much more effective he is than Dooley, he'd be making $10B/yr.

GreerVol22 writes:

ALL university costs are a scam. I have never heard a logical reason from any college in any state as to why tuition, ticket prices, and salaries rise by 5-15% every year when inflation is at most 2-3% a year. With that being said...we urge you to pay these prices and please pay no more!

RoadTrip writes:

The UTAD must have taken the same economics class as Obama. Spend more money when less money comes in.

trgclychip writes:

The Track coach has guts to cash those checks.

jbc writes:

The two head coaches salaries for softball seems a little odd.

keepitreal4vols writes:

1.I thought Dave Hart cleaned house when he got here and fired/terminated/forced resignation on a lot of athletic dept support staff. but it says we have more employees now then last year?
2. JJ Clark is way overpaid, based on results.
3. The Weekleys are way underpaid.
4. I shoulda been a coach.

VolFanHoping writes:

Big increases for a department in financial binds.

stevefrommemphis writes:

College athletics has turned into a conduit for transferring money from television networks and donors / season ticket holders to the coaches. College costs in general are out of control largely for the same reason that health care costs are out of control: because the federal government throws money at the education industry (in the form of subsidized student loans, Pell grants, and direct grants to the universities) with almost no accountability.

Chappy writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

ALL university costs are a scam. I have never heard a logical reason from any college in any state as to why tuition, ticket prices, and salaries rise by 5-15% every year when inflation is at most 2-3% a year. With that being said...we urge you to pay these prices and please pay no more!

Agreed. Feel bad for students especially. Seems like tuition increases every year. And I remember when home game tickets were free for students (well, at least covered by "student activity fee"). Students (and their parents) are getting squeezed more every year.

PHAT_VOL writes:

This is a laugh! During these hard economic times $156,000 to coach volleyball? Really! What did any of these people do to earn a nine percent raise? What kind of economic bubble do these people live in? And can some one tell me how to pronounce Coach BAJAs name?
GO VOLS!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Whatever it takes, but Clark hauling in almost 250 G's is a laugh. His performance should warrant a decrease of 10,000 each year his team under-performs.

JSmith525 writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

Athletic Director Hart has yet to earn his salary. This guy not only does NOT deserve any salary increase, but rather should return part of his salary based on his failure to perform. Vols fans are not under any obligation to line his pockets while he has failed to demonstrate any results.

Hart has failed to earn his salary! He has eh? In what way have you determined this? Fact's only please, if you can or care to produce them. Seems when someone doesn't like someone in the AD department, they take every opportunity to slam on every move or decision that someone makes. IMO Hart has done a fine job as AD thus far and has the department on the right track. But feel free to present those "FACTS" we are all interested in learning them!

tovolny writes:

The "associates" salaries are too much. Too many people...at least a third of these people should take a hike. I cannot see 200 people needed to make athletics happen at UT.

WHY NOT PUBLISH THE SALARIES OF some math instructors. Find an engineering instructor with 5 years experience and publish his/her salary. I don't have a problem paying a head coach a competitive amount...but hey...wait...associate directors and associate operations managers seem ridiculous.

AND, HOLLY WARLICK should be paid at least 1 million. I can hardly believe we aren't paying the Weeklys more. I think we should all challenge the salary of Dave Hart. And, challenge him to prove that all 200 people are needed. Come on folks, lets speak up and see if things can be improved.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to JSmith525:

Hart has failed to earn his salary! He has eh? In what way have you determined this? Fact's only please, if you can or care to produce them. Seems when someone doesn't like someone in the AD department, they take every opportunity to slam on every move or decision that someone makes. IMO Hart has done a fine job as AD thus far and has the department on the right track. But feel free to present those "FACTS" we are all interested in learning them!

Good point, Hart has done nothing but trim the fat off of a program that was too nice to say goodbye. It's a business (big business) now for the athletic departments of major conference schools. If you don't have a numbers guy in place (instead of some retired coach milking the budget) you're going to left in the dust. Hamilton was only good at raising money, he didn't know how to negotiate contracts (case and point the Dooley deal) and was not on par with other AD's in the SEC. Hart on the other hand has been in rebuild mode since day one, and that included hiring new coaches' and restructuring an athletic department that had been mismanaged for 25 years.

CCLC writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Good point, Hart has done nothing but trim the fat off of a program that was too nice to say goodbye. It's a business (big business) now for the athletic departments of major conference schools. If you don't have a numbers guy in place (instead of some retired coach milking the budget) you're going to left in the dust. Hamilton was only good at raising money, he didn't know how to negotiate contracts (case and point the Dooley deal) and was not on par with other AD's in the SEC. Hart on the other hand has been in rebuild mode since day one, and that included hiring new coaches' and restructuring an athletic department that had been mismanaged for 25 years.

There has got to be a way to raise more money at the stadium...................

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFgyg7...

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to CCLC:

There has got to be a way to raise more money at the stadium...................

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFgyg7...

Bumstead, the Vols don't need any UGA fund raising ideas

BluezVol writes:

9.1% increase in pay huh??? I wonder how many Vol fans that buy these tickets have had a 9.1% increase in pay (in total) for the past 5 years?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to CCLC:

There has got to be a way to raise more money at the stadium...................

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFgyg7...

We did great selling bubba teeth as dentures when UGA last visited Knoxville.

ActualUTAlum writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

Athletic Director Hart has yet to earn his salary. This guy not only does NOT deserve any salary increase, but rather should return part of his salary based on his failure to perform. Vols fans are not under any obligation to line his pockets while he has failed to demonstrate any results.

You're an idiot. The only hire he has been able to make (Jones) is a wild success so far. He's also successfully merged the athletic departments and is trying undo years of Mike Hamilton's fiscal madness. It takes time, and he knows exactly what he's doing. He was running the show at Alabama, Mal Moore was a figurehead and a fundraiser. Look at how they're doing. Pay attention.

rockypop writes:

College coaching and weather reporting seem to be the jobs of choice where compensation isn't tied to performance - at least for the duration of the contract.

Unfortunately, I've never seen a weather reporter fired for consistently bad forecasts. And, college coaches seem to weather bad seasons for longer than they should because of contracts that are somehow allowed to permit mediocrity for a period of time.

The Dooley experiment sends a message - sign up and no matter what the outcome, you'll get paid. ALOT. Anybody in the real workforce would take that deal every time.

And, for the weather reporters, they just keep reporting. Bad forecasts - no problem. Here's your check. Where can we all sign up for these deals?

usafvol writes:

in response to GET_OVER_IT_YOU_LOST:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Shut up little boy! Bet you're excited to be going back to school soon and playing with your little friends again huh?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SAMA_BUCKS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh, i know who you are..I would rather ram my head into a wall than engage in conversation with a Fulmer fan (not a UT man) like yourself..Good day, whiner.

MetroplexMojo writes:

My thoughts....

- Given the consolidation and budget crunch, the 7.2% headcount increase is worrisome.

- After you take out the increase/(decrease) in salaries attributable to the new football staff and Coach Summitt, that still yields a 5.6% increase in salaries. That's over 3x the increase in inflation during the same period.

- To the people bringing up how the cost of college education (especially at public institutions) has increased at multiples of the inflation rate, here are my thoughts. You have, in many cases, the same bloated organizational structures that exist in cities such as Detroit. These structures can not change with the times (Detroit had the same size workforce at 1.8MM people as they do with 700K). Since Colleges provide a product for only a portion of the population and college leadership is not as accountable as politicians, there's not as much pressure to reduce costs so everything gets passed onto the student.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SAMA_BUCKS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

An Alumnus?? Wouldn't that be any male grad from any university, which means I'm one as well, brainiac..

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