BL: The First $2,000,000 Coordinator… and other absurdities

    Mike Elko
    BobLee
    January16/ 2018

    The First $2,000,000 Coordinator

    … and other absurdities

    Yes, Big Time College Football now has its first, but certainly not last, $2,000,000 Coordinator – some galoot named Mike Elko. Mike was at Notre Dame but now is at Texas A&M with Jimbo Fisher.

    OK… yes, I know that galoot Mike Elko is “only” making $1,800,000 as Texas A&M’s new Defensive Coordinator (DC), not $2,000,000. But “The First $1,800,000 Coordinator… and other absurdities” doesn’t have the same impact. Does it?

    In the “it’s only $$$” world of Big Time College Football what’s a coupla $100,000s… really?  Dabo’s DC Brent Venable will likely be at $2M as soon as Dabo finishes mourning…

    Just a year ago “Multi-Millionaire Mike” Elko was the DC at Wake Forest as in “even Wake Forest has one” fame. No idea what Mike was making way back then but I bet it had two less zeros in it. During Mike’s one season at Notre Dame he took their defense from 60-something to 30-something in some indecipherable complex ranking of defenses. That means, theoretically, there are 30-some other DC’s better than Mike Elko. Their wives can’t be too happy with their hubbies meager-by-comparison paychecks now.

    I doubt legendary Coordinator “Smiling Jon” Tenuta ever reached $500,000 in his prime.

    Salary figures are just numbers. Let’s compare them to something…

    Remember the furor over Gene Chizik’s salary at UNC… $600,000. Mike Elko makes 3.5 times what Gene The Guru made.

    Yes, it would take SIXTEEN Mike Elko salaries to build Larry Fedora’s “Gotta Be Competitive” Indoor Palace of Bling.

    What I don’t know is… how does Mike Elko’s “almost $2,000,000” salary compare to the total salaries of UNCCH’s full-time “Crisis Management / Keep Us Accredited” gang.  At last count there were “about a dozen of’em” on Joel Curran’s ever-expanding staff of obfuscators and misdirectors.

    Have we already reached the point that “a special teams coach” makes more than “the Provost” at most Power-5 schools?  Isn’t that mentioned in Revelation as a sign of End Of Days?

    Several weeks ago I asked the rhetorical question “What will be the next utterly ridiculous GOTTA HAVE TO BE COMPETITIVE in Big Time College FB?”

    Everyone of’em is solely designed to “close the sale” on semi-literate 17 y/os in ESPN’s Top 100. At least for now… that may be “Come to Whatzamatta U ‘cause we have a $2,000,000 Coordinator”.

    The semi-literate 17 y/o replies… “But do you have a nap room and a waterslide?”

    Everybody who thinks this scenario is incredibly stoopid, please say “DAMN!”.

    What is the difference between a $2,000,000 Coordinator at Texas A&M and a $50,000 Coordinator at a Division III school? IS there a difference other than $$$?

    Football is… teaching fundamental of blocking, tackling, passing, catching, running, kicking. They all read the same books and attend the same clinics.

    Football is… drawing Xs and Os on a whiteboard. Oops, was that racist? Do they still have “blackboards”? My bad! Board monkeys do that on cocktail napkins… and video games.

    Football is… breaking down film. When they line up “this way” they do this… so we should line up “that way” to beat them. Again… hardly brain surgery.

    There are athletes that are exceptionally talented with incredible God-given abilities to perform in high-pressure situations. The Tom Bradys… Lebron James… Mike Trouts and 100 more are MAYBE worth incredible salaries for consistently excellent performance… but “Coordinators”?

    Should the NO Saints DC be beheaded on Bourbon St because his player missed the tackle on that Viking receiver?

    Speaking of Assistant Coaches… UNCCH is recycling Tommy Thigpen. Thigpen played LB at UNC 4-5 Head Coaches ago. He mighta played in The NFL a few years. As a college assistant coach, he has a reputation as an “Outstanding Recruiter”Black Santa. Uh Oh!

    Where have we heard THAT before? Other than “The Butcher” who still has no clue who he is… all the rest of you are saying John “Black Santa” Blake. Yep.

    There is a notorious character out there named Trooper Tyler/Taylor(?) who has been “an outstanding recruiter” for, I think, every SEC school and at least half of Big 12 schools.

    “Outstanding Recruiters”, like Mafia “hit men”, stick around about two years at most. The more notorious ones, like Blake, “Trooper” and Thigpen, try to stay one step ahead of the NCAA Goons investigating their nefariousness. Thigpen apparently has a “beat up his wife/girlfriend” rap on his resume too. I don’t know about that.

    I was asked on Twitter last week how long I thought Thigpen would be at UNC this go-round. I said “two years at most, maybe just one”.

    Some sad little TruBlue board monkey yapped “I wish YOU (meaning me) would go away in two seconds…”.

    Hardly the most colorfully profane insult I have received in 20 years, but the best one I got that day. I didn’t bother to even share that pitiful one with Dan Kane. Dan would just giggle.

    ##

    I have finished that 8-book Outlaw Chronicles about Robin Hood by Angus The OutlawDonald. OUTSTANDING! It took me two weeks… almost 100 hours of listening. Worth every minute. Any time I rate anything here be it books … barbecue… Bond Girls… or routes to get to the beach… they are all simply My Opinion. Your Opinion may be 180 from mine.

    IMO… The Outlaw Chronicles ARE even better than Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove series which are also Outstanding as well.

    I am now reading I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, a Terrorist Thriller recommended, I think, by BLSays Buddy Dudley Moore. Next will be Cowdog’s choice The 13th Valley. A Viet Nam War story. Then probably a series about a Roman Legionnaire or maybe a Wilbur Smith’s South African series.

    Good Reads and Column Fodder… hopefully, when I leave this mortal coil there will still be a stack of both waiting in my In-Box.

    ##

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    BobLee
    • Ken Stewart Reply
      10 months ago

      Thanks BobLee, I started listening to The Outlaw today. With all the snow on the ground I could not think of a better project.

      • BobLee Reply
        10 months ago

        No guarantee its your cup of tea… I really miss that I’ve finished the series. BE WARNED… Those were violent times!

    • Former96Heel Reply
      10 months ago

      I realize fat cats always seem to have bottomless pockets, but that kind of person generally did not get that many zeroes in their net worth by being foolish. If you are a Clemson or Alabama booster, you may be able to justify your ROI on bragging rights. But the 90% of D1 who, if lucky, populates the whozit bowls every December? That $10million coach and $2million coordinator are going to be harder and harder to justify.
      .
      Another angle is, the higher they fly, the harder they crash. I imagine there will be not so much a lower tolerance for coaching foolishness (ex: Hugh Freeze or Bobby Petrino), but the school will be more likely to let a head roll quickly if your HBC had more than 2 losses the prior year. Whoever is selling the IPF at UNC needs to work for an insurance company or on a car lot.
      .
      Is it a stretch to say an elite coach may be better off in College Station or Tuscaloosa, or wherever the deep pockets are desperate than with the Browns in Cleveland?

      • BobLee Reply
        10 months ago

        Great Questions. Name one highly successful college HC who has found success / happiness in The NFL? Saban… Spurrier… Kelly… “The Butcher”… Harbaugh… even all the way back to Lou Holtz ??? As disgusting and ridiculous as Recruiting is… apparently it is preferable to trying to “manage” multi-millionaires and very impatient billionaire owners.
        .
        Other than eye-rolling silly as escalating salaries are, do they really effect the average season ticket-holder fan? Some of those rabid fans may send in a few $100s for IPFs or bigger badder Jumbotrons, but 90% of those Big Bad Bling items are covered by the same inner circle of Fat Cats. That average season ticket-holder just wants to beat the Hated Rival and brag at the water cooler. He thinks the big salaries are ridiculous but they don’t effect him directly.
        .
        There are two basic categories of Fat Cats… (1) the silver spoons who inherited 2nd / 3rd generation empires that are so large even their egos and ineptness can’t burn thru it… (2) the very savvy GOB bootstrapper who owns 20 Taco Bells & 32 Muffler Shops across Alabama. UNCCH has more of the #1 types. SEC schools have a lot of the #2 types. #2s know their $$$ can buy/sell wives every 4-5 years so why can’t $$$ buy him a FB Winner?
        .
        Asst coaches like Elko, Venable, etc will always grab the next brass ring because Why Not. At their level of a few dozen P-5 schools that can/will pay the mega-bucks, its all the same facilities, same Fat Cat-types and intimidated Univ Admins.The only difference is the school colors and goofy mascot.

        • Former96Heel Reply
          10 months ago

          As always, enlightened and humored.

          • BobLee Reply
            10 months ago

            Actually I just make-up these scenarios that make so much sense they eventually manifest into reality. – 🙂 ..

        • Doug Reply
          10 months ago

          I can name a few that moved from college to the NFL and did great. One highly successful coach who transitioned from college to the NFL was Pete Carroll. Jim Harbaugh was successful too. Tom Coughlin did a great job at BC before leading the NY Giants to two Super Bowls. Others who did well are Paul Brown (National championship at Ohio St), Barry Switzer. Don Coryell, Dick Vermeil, Jimmy Johnson, Bill Walsh. Everyone of them either are in the NFL HoF or either should or will be in the future.

          • BobLee Reply
            10 months ago

            Touche!

    • Chip Ward Reply
      10 months ago

      USA Today publishes an annual assistant football coach salary survey. Dave Aranda (LSU) made $1.8 million last year. Venables (Clemson) was $1.7. Key words: last year.

      • BobLee Reply
        10 months ago

        How many $10M Head Coaches and $3M Asst Coaches will there be in five years ???

    • Wolfdon Reply
      10 months ago

      What is the / your source of the audio version of Outlaw Chronicles

      • BobLee Reply
        10 months ago

        Audible.com is my only source for audiobooks. Pretty sure Audible.com has largest selection. Incredibly easy to buy/download… very customer-friendly… outstanding customer service… NEVER have technical issues. Books will cost you $11.00 each.
        .
        Look up Angus Donald as author. The Outlaw is the title of first book in the series. There are a total of eight book in series – READ THEM IN ORDER!

        • wolfdon Reply
          10 months ago

          Thanks

    • Ben in MO Reply
      10 months ago

      “The 13th Valley” is part of a trilogy that looks at the Vietnam War from different perspectives. “The 13th Valley” is about an American unit’s combat experiences in Vietnam; “For the Sake of All Living Things” looks at the war from a Cambodian perspective, and “Carry Me Home” examines the aftermath of the war from the veterans perspective. There is no continuing character, and each book is self-contained, so you can read one, two or all of them as you please in any order. I got the trilogy entitled “The Vietnam War Trilogy” from Kindle, so it may also be available on Audible in that format. The books probably mean more to veterans of “that old crazy Asian war”, but you will be able to see a lot of raw ends for the author as he was writing this. It must have been an enormous catharsis for him, and may have helped some other vets along the way. By the time I got around to reading it, I had already processed most of my own experiences, but it is still intense. Then again, “It ain’t nothing.”

      • BobLee Reply
        10 months ago

        I’ll likely be into it by Friday. My only personal knowledge of VNW is from various movies… Green Berets, Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Rambo, Chuck Norris, etc.

    • PF.Dallas Reply
      10 months ago

      Silly me – I remember that I used to wonder WHY college tuitions kept going up SOOOOOO much – EVERY year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was at least right in that the professors are probably not getting that many salary raises!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • BobLee Reply
        10 months ago

        In your case with the U of Miami – an elite private school – I’m not sure how FB / BB is paid for. Usually the $$ comes thru Booster Club Fat Cats and/or student fees or Athletic Dept revenues. In Coral Gables it could be a Columbian cartel. 🙂

    • Russell Barnes Reply
      10 months ago

      For Christmas, I got a book on the 1974 championship ( 1973-1974 Reliving the NC State Wolfpack’s Title Run by Jim Pomeranz ) . Page 16 states the entire athletic budget for 13 teams was $1,300,000 while Lou Holtz made $27,500 ( his assistants average $14,500) Basketball budget was $138,500 with Norm Sloan getting only $24,255. Football ticket price was raised to $7 per game . TV and radio revenue was $110,000 . Student fees for athletic support was $20 per year.

      • BobLee Reply
        10 months ago

        I appreciate the effect of 50 years of inflation when comparing raw data… BUT $2,000,000 for an Assistant FB Coach is RIDICULOUS under any comparison.

    • Doug Reply
      10 months ago

      No problem with the $2 million if that’s what schools decide to pay. It’s a drop in the bucket for some P5 schools with the gulf widening between the step brother schools which include all non-P5 schools and most of the ACC not named Clemson or FSU.

      The Alabama Strength & Conditioning coach salary was $525K in 2016. Safe to assume the number will grow once again if it hasn’t already. That puts him in the at roughly the same as HBC’s of Georgia Southern and Miami(Ohio)

      Elko was the ND coach caught on You Tube video dropping F-Bombs to his defense before the game against “The U” because he didn’t like the U’s Turnover Chain ritual or maybe he thought Miami was a S**thole town. 😎

      FWIW, I think you are referring to Trooper Taylor, not Tyler.

      • BobLee Reply
        10 months ago

        “Trooper” Something or other. He stayed one step ahead of the NCAA goons for years. Carried a wad of Benjamins in his pocket to buy whoever he really wanted for whoever he worked for in a particular year.

    • NCSU68Grad Reply
      10 months ago

      I’ll see your 2 Bitcoins and raise you 1….
      Matt Canada was fired in June 2016 by DD and DY. Canada was making $560K Base. Obama’s birth place and certificate easier to find than what Pitt paid Canada for the 2016/17 Season. Don’t know if NCSU supplemented or whether Pitt matched and Pitt AIN’T talking.
      Next stop for Matt the traveler….LSU. New Contract. $1.5 Million @ 3 years. OUCH!. May have been close to the top of the scale. Internet wizards will have to do the research…. BUT, after a significant difference of opinions as the Latee’s blends in the IPF, LSU terminated Matt. Forelorned and scorned, Matt finally negotiated a $1,700K settlement from LSU rather than the contractual amount of $3.3 Million. Should have retained Linda’s legal eagle, the one that sucked the $$’s from Paul (McCartney). BUT, he is happy. He is now in the renovated “Undisclosed Location” that Dick Cheney formerly occupied. NO GOSSIP or Position. BUT, he is still making about 3 X what NCSU was paying….so he won’t go hungry.
      How are the Young’ns? More importantly….how are the Kid and what’s his name….in that order?

      • BobLee Reply
        10 months ago

        Twins and Mom/Dad all doing very well… into Week Two of a Lifetime Journey.
        .
        Canada rose very fast up the Coordinator $$$ ladder. What is Ted Roof getting from Frau?

        • NCSU68Grad Reply
          10 months ago

          BOT and BOG are quiet. No $$’s released. December 2013 article said that Teddy was the Highest Paid NCAA Coordinator at a whopping $601K base. And some folks think that BitCoin Mining is a pot of gold
          Interesting speculation out of LSU. The new guy who’s name I can’t pronounce or spell was being paid $325K. He is expected to get a raise to the $1.2 – $1.5 range. To which, Jimbo replied….”you get what you pay for”….and his wife was NOT paying for what she was getting….but I’ll bet that Jimbo still is….
          Maybe some of the more connected BLegans will do the research and enlighten us.

          • BobLee Reply
            10 months ago

            Every year the baseline seems to triple…

    • MB.Balmer Reply
      10 months ago

      You have to wonder when it will hit a wall. The difference in salaries for university Employees not in sports and coaches, students costs of attending, male versus female Salaries, etc.

      • BobLee Reply
        10 months ago

        Who says it has to hit a wall? The Univ Admins abdicated any say-so years ago. They no longer have a vote. The Fat Cats have bottomless pockets and no ceiling on their egos. They will keep firing Coach A and hiring Coach B at more millions/year until they win every year… which will never happen to 95% of them.

    • TarSpartan Reply
      10 months ago

      I was a yute when Lee Majors starred as the Six Million Dollar Man, but even then, I remembered that Six Million figure was mind-blowing. You just couldn’t imagine anything that big. Now, a co-ordinator is 1/3 of a Steve Austin. Inflation is a heck of a thing.

      • BobLee Reply
        10 months ago

        Bill Dooley made $35,000/year his first year at UNC… 50 years ago. John Bunting was $600,000 during his tenure. It is ALL driven by Fat Cat Egos …

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