Paul (Bear) Bryant, Alabama football coach, is the highest wage-earner in college football, getting a base salary and benefits totaling $450,000 yearly, the Miami Herald reported in yesterday's editions.
Bryant earns an estimated $104,000 base salary, and receives about $300,000 in television and radio benefits, according to a survey of the nation's collegiate coaches by the Herald.
Bryant is followed in the top 10 by Oklahoma's Barry Switzer, $270,000 yearly; Jackie Sherrill, new head coach at Texas A&M, $240,000 annually after signing a six-year contract; Arkansas' Lou Holtz, $226,000; Kentucky's Jerry Claiborne, who previously coached at the University of Maryland, $152,500; Miami's Howard Schnellenberger, $150,000; Colorado's Chuck Fairbanks, $150,000; Michigan's Bo Schembechler, $147,500; Nebraska's Tom Osborne, $140,500, and Florida State's Bobby Bowden, $140,000, the Herald reported.
Other top 20 notables are Tennessee's Johnny Majors at $128,500; Florida's Charley Pell at $123,000; USC's John Robinson and Penn State's Joe Paterno at $102,500, and Georgia's Vince Dooley at $100,000.
Bryant, the winningest coach in the college ranks, also does commercials for a home builder, kerosene heaters and South Central Bell on a regional level. Bryant also endorses Ford pickups nationally, is expected to receive an undisclosed amount from the sales of 315 customed vans costing $19,000 each and decorated with a bear's footprint on the back tire. Bryant also commands up to $15,000 for a speaking engagement, the Herald reported.