As expected, Randy Shannon is getting a substantial raise to take over the full-fledged defensive coordinator role for the Florida Gators. But Florida’s assistant coaches as a whole may be making slightly less than they did a year ago.
Per reports from a variety of sources — Only Gators, 247Sports, Scout, the Orlando Sentinel — Florida released contracts for a number of its assistant coaches in response to a records request on Friday, revealing that Shannon got a raise of $400,000 after being elevated from co- and interim defensive coordinator to defensive coordinator in the wake of former Florida defensive coordinator Geoff Collins’ departure for Temple late in 2016.
Shannon will make $890,000 in base salary in each of the three years of a new contract signed this March, nearly doubling the $490,000 he had made in his first two years in Gainesville as the program’s highest-paid non-coordinator coach.
But while Shannon’s salary now dwarfs that of his coordinator counterpart, offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier — whose salary got a $35,000 bump, from $515,000 in 2016 to $540,000 in 2017 — and matches the base salary Collins drew in 2016, it is also significantly smaller than the more than $1 million in total compensation Collins was scheduled to make in the 2016 contract year.
That’s seemingly mostly because Shannon’s 2017 retention bonus of $75,000 — payable at the end of March 2018 if he remains in Gainesville — is smaller than the $150,000 retention bonus Collins would have been set to earn had he remained in Gainesville. Given that Collins obviously did not remain in Gainesville, it is likely that he did not become the first coordinator in program history to earn more than $1 million in a season — but Shannon, too, is not on track to get there in 2017, with increases in his retention bonus only bringing him in line to do so in the 2018 contract year, when the bonus jumps to $100,000.
If Shannon remains with Florida through March 2019, additional payments from Nike and other bonuses would likely push Shannon over the line as Florida’s first million-dollar assistant.
Florida also released contracts for new defensive backs coach Corey Bell, new offensive line coach Brad Davis, and new running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider, all of which were two-year deals. Bell and Davis will each reportedly make $290,000 in 2017 and $315,000 in 2018, substantial bumps from far smaller salaries — $90,000 for Bell at Florida Atlantic, $150,000 for Davis at North Texas — earned at smaller schools in 2016.
Seider, meanwhile, is making $335,000 in base salary in 2017, slightly less in base salary than the $340,000 he earned at West Virginia in 2016, but then eclipses his 2016 take in 2018, when his salary jumps to $345,000.
Of course, Seider is likely to also keep a greater share of his salary in Florida, which has no state income tax, than he did in West Virginia, where he would have paid the maximum 6.5 percent state income tax as a result of falling into the Mountaineer State’s highest tax bracket.
That’s not true of Bell, who is remaining in Florida, or Davis, who comes to the Sunshine State from Texas, which also lacks a state income tax.
Florida did not release contracts for co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Chris Rumph, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Greg Nord, wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon, or linebackers coach Tim Skipper. The latter three were previously on two-year deals that expired in February, while Rumph got a raise and an extension to his original two-year deal in 2016.
Of those assistants, Rumph would be most likely to make significantly more than his previous salary ($490,000), given that prior raise, his elevation to co-defensive coordinator and Clemson’s purported interest in him. but all four could have gotten modest raises as a result of remaining on staff — and Skipper might have earned one for jumping from running backs coach to linebackers coach.
But if Dixon, Nord, Rumph, and Skipper all maintained their previous levels of compensation, Florida would be paying its assistant coaches slightly less in 2017 than it did in 2016, with drop-offs from the salaries given to veteran offensive line coach Mike Summers and veteran defensive backs coach Torrian Gray to the ones earned by Davis and Bell accounting for almost all of the apparent $250,000 decrease in assistants’ salaries.
That would seem somewhat unlikely, given that the Gators were good enough in 2016 to merit a lucrative extension for Jim McElwain, and new extensions for head coaches often come paired with enhanced pools for assistants’ compensation. Without concrete details on all of Florida’s coaches’ contracts, though, we are left with speculation and conjecture.