Big Ten football coaching salaries top to bottom

P.J. Fleck’s new deal could put him in the top half of Big Ten coaching salaries in 2020. Using his current $3.6 million salary for 2019, here’s a breakdown of Big Ten coaches’ salaries reported by USA Today:

1. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan, $7.5M: Third-highest salary in the country, trailing only Dabo Sweeney ($9.3M) and Nick Saban ($8.7M).

2. Jeff Brohm, Purdue, $6.6M: With Louisville in hot pursuit this spring, Purdue ponied up big-time. Team is 3-6.

3. James Franklin, Penn State, $5.7M: Got a raise in August. Riding high in November. He heads to Minneapolis at 8-0.

4. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern, $5.1M: Salary continues to climb, but Wildcats have hit a low in the standings at 0-6 in the Big Ten.

5. Scott Frost, Nebraska, $5M: Another Big Ten coach with a losing record in the national top 15. Frost (14th in salary) is 2-4 in the Big Ten.

6. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa, $4.8M: Signed through 2025, the 64-year-old is winning (6-2) and well-paid (18th nationally).

7. Ryan Day, Ohio State, $4.5M: The guy has never lost — first-year coach is 8-0 with the No. 3 Buckeyes — so he’s due for a raise.

8. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State, $4.4M: At the top of the bottom half in salary, and in the standings (MSU is 4-4, 2-3).

9. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin, $4.2M: Signed an extension in January that takes him through the 2024 season.

10. Lovie Smith, Illinois, $4M: The annual salary is actually down from $5 million, but the wins (5-4) are up. The Illini have won three in a row.

11. P.J. Fleck, Gophers $3.6M: His third contract extension in as many years will bump him up to $4.6 million in 2020.

12. Mike Locksley, Maryland, $2.5M: Hired in December and signed a similar contract to that of former coach DJ Durkin. Maryland is 3-6.

13. Chris Ash, Rutgers $2.3M: He was fired in September after posting an 8-32 record in three-plus seasons. Buyout: $8.5 million.

14. Tom Allen, Indiana, $1.8M: The lowest salary in the Big Ten ranks 71st nationally. It’s a big bargain: Indiana is 7-2, 4-2.

Credit: Figures from USA Today coach salary database. See the full database at