Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
The $451,900 that Joel Maturi earns as athletic director at Minnesota ranks eighth among the 10 Big Ten schools that release salary data, according to a college football database compiled by USA Today.
Ohio State's Gene Smith, who earns $1.059 million, and Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez, who makes $1.041 million per year, are the highest paid ADs in the conference, though their salaries lag well behind that of Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, who earns roughly $1.6 million a year, according to the paper. That pair is among five athletic directors (plus Vanderbilt vice chancellor David Williams, who also oversees several other departments) who earn more than $1 million a year; Jeremy Foley at Florida ($1.545 million) is the highest paid, followed by Tom Jurich at Louisville ($1.422 million) and DeLoss Dodds of Texas ($1.093 million).
Only Michigan State's Mark Hollis, at $395,000 annually, and Nebraska's Tom Osborne, who is paid $321,538, earn less than Maturi, who has been Minnesota's athletic director since 2002. Maturi's salary is pretty typical, however; three other ADs are within $54,000 of his compensation package.
Northwestern, a private school, and Penn State did not make their salary figures available to USA Today.
As you might expect, athletic director at a Division I school is a pretty lucrative job. None of the ADs in the database earn less than $100,000; the lowest listed is Bobby Stroud at Louisiana-Monroe, who earns $109,000.
Still, virtually all athletic directors earn less than their employees; at Minnesota, for example, Maturi's salary is far below that of basketball coach Tubby Smith ($1.8 million) and football coach Jerry Kill ($1.1 million).
The Big Ten salaries, according to USA Today:
Illinois -- Mike Thomas -- $575,000
Indiana -- Fred Glass -- $495,746
Iowa -- Gary Barta -- $456,992
Michigan -- Dave Brandon -- $700,454
Michigan State -- Mark Hollis -- $395,000
Minnesota -- Joel Maturi -- $451,900
Nebraska -- Tom Osborne -- $321,538
Northwestern -- Jim Phillips -- (NA)
Ohio State -- Gene Smith -- $1,058,546
Penn State -- Tim Curley -- (NA)
Purdue -- Morgan Burke -- $505,918
Wisconsin -- Barry Alvarez -- $1,040,800
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