May 26, 2024

The Tennessee Volunteers’ blockbuster 2022 college football season paid off big time for head coach Josh Heupel.

What’s happening: Heupel’s pay reached $9 million in 2023, according to the latest data from USA Today. That makes him the ninth-highest paid college football coach in the nation (tied with Lane Kiffin in Mississippi).

He secured the new rate as part of a contract extension in January.
Last year, Heupel made $5 million, according to the database.
Why it matters: The rankings show the financial might of SEC football. As Adam Sparks at the Knoxville News Sentinel notes, seven of the top 10 coaches come from the SEC.

It also reflects Tennessee’s strong 11-2 season, which included an unforgettable win over Alabama.
Zoom out: The top three earners this season are Alabama’s Nick Saban ($11.4 million), Clemson’s Dabo Swinney ($10.9 million) and Georgia’s Kirby Smart ($10.7 million).

Yes, but: Other Tennessee teams fell much lower in the rankings.

Vanderbilt’s head coach Clark Lea came in at 56 with $3 million.
Middle Tennessee State University’s Rick Stockstill was 90th with $910,504 in total pay.

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