UCF’s George O’Leary is the 57th-highest paid head coach among 128 NCAA FBS schools, according to a USA TODAY special report examining coaches’ compensation that was released Oct. 7.
It highlighted five compensation categories: school pay, other pay, total pay, maximum bonus and bonuses paid.
O’Leary’s base salary from the university is $1.89 million. He made a base salary of $250,000 in 2006, his third year at UCF, but his total compensation rose to just above $1 million after pay titled “other” was included.
According to the report, income that is titled “other” refers to “income from sources listed on the coach’s most recently available, self-reported athletically related outside income report. Some public schools, citing public-records disclosure exemptions, decline to provide the outside-income report.”
After inking a new contract, his base salary jumped to just above $1.32 million in 2010. He has not received “other” pay since 2009.
O’Leary is eligible for a maximum of $750,000 in bonuses “if the team meets on-field performance goals (including win totals, bowl-game appearances, conference and national championships, coaching awards, etc.) academic or player goals.”
According to the report, O’Leary made $385,000 in bonuses last season. Last season, the Knights clinched a share of the AAC championship.
O’Leary is the second-highest paid coach in the American Athletic Conference behind Cincinnati’s Tommy Tuberville, who makes $2.2 million as the 50th-highest paid.
The average salary for an AAC coach this year is just above $1.42 million. No information was available for Southern Methodist and Tulsa.
Through six weeks, the Knights are 0-6. Just four other schools have not won a game: Wyoming, Kansas, North Texas and New Mexico State.
Wyoming’s Craig Bohl comes in No. 76 at $882,000, Kansas’ David Beaty is No. 81 at $801,169, North Texas’ Dan McCarney is No. 85 at $721,600 and New Mexico State’s Doug Martin is No. 119 at $377,044.
AAC teams Houston, Memphis and Temple are undefeated through six weeks.
Houston’s Tom Herman is No. 61 on the list at $1.45 million, Memphis’ Justin Fuente is No. 63 at $1.4 million and Temple’s Matt Rhule is No. 89 at $648,633.
In the Sunshine State, O’Leary is the fourth-highest paid coach behind FSU’s Jimbo Fisher (No. 5 at $5.15 million), UF’s Jim McElwain (No. 17 at just under $4 million) and Miami’s Al Golden (No. 42 at just above $2.53 million).
With the exception of Tuberville, every FBS head coach who makes more than O’Leary is at the helm of a team in the Power 5 conference.
Fifty-five head coaches make $2 million or more and 56 coaches make less than $1 million per year.
Alabama’s Nick Saban makes the most as he rakes in just over $7 million this year.
Of the top 10 highest-paid coaches, four are from the SEC (Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU, Mississippi), three are from the Big Ten (Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State), two are from the Big 12 (Oklahoma, Texas), and one is from the ACC (FSU).
For the full list of coaches' salaries, click here.
Victor Ng is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @_victorT24.