(Jonathan Newton)

But Brenda Frese being third? That actually did surprise me a bit. That also means that, for now, Frese is the top-ranking state worker among earnings publicly disclosed.

The Baltimore Sun examined the 1,346 state workers whose salaries exceeded Governor Martin O’Malley’s $150,000 haul in 2010, and discovered that the top three earners were all Terps coaches.

The top 10, in fact, were all University of Maryland employees, but no one came close to Williams’s $2,335,890 score. Friedgen checked in at $1,088,980, and Frese earned $957,523. No other state employees topped $800,000. No, not even Sasho Cirovski.

People have done similar studies in Virginia, although the results are weird, because coaches like Frank Beamer — whose $2.1 million in annual compensation comes from endowments or other non-state sources — do not qualify.

Jim Larranaga’s $525,000 salary — all from state coffers — made him fourth on Virginia’s list, while Virginia offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was 12th ($425,000) and defensive coordinator Jim Reid was 22nd ($356,000).