Kevin Wilson ranks 13th in salary among Big Ten football coaches

Kevin Wilson ranks No. 13 in salary among Big Ten coaches, according to USA Today’s college football salary database.

Wilson’s total pay of $1,301,644 puts him at No. 66 in Division I and ahead of only Rutgers’ Kyle Flood ($987,000) in the Big Ten.

Alabama coach Nick Saban is the highest paid coach in the nation at $7,160,187. Four coaches in the Big Ten are ranked in the top 10, including Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio ($5,636,145) at No. 2, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer (4,536,640) at No. 6, Penn State’s James Franklin (4,300,000) at No. 8 and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz (4,075,000) at No. 9.


  1. CKW compensation is a non-issue. IMO, he’s about where he should be given his experience and performance to date. He’s clearly done some good things moving the program forward and I look forward to continued progress. I’m not convinced he is a head coach. I think he has some of the skills and certainly the technical knowledge. That said, so much of a head coach’s success depends on their ability to engage fans, media etc. This is a soft skill but a very important one. Hep had it which is why he was so successful galvanizing the fan base and student body during the tragically short time he was with us. My sense is Wilson needs to step up his game in this area. If he can do that, the dollars will follow.

  2. iufan23, great post! I agree with you about the importance of the “soft skills” that great coaches need to possess and exercise. Wilson deserves more time, and it will be interesting to see if he shows growth is some important coaching skills.

    As for Wilson’s salary level, while it is certainly not a problem now, if IU is to establish a competitive Big Ten football program, having a head coach who is the second lowest compensated coach in the conference has to change, one way or the other. Either Wilson’s going to win at IU and get a big raise, or IU will have to to pay more to hire his replacement. You get what you pay for, and being ranked this low does not improve IU Football’s image or reputation throughout the college football coaching network. I think IU’s administration has been penny wise and pound foolish for far too long. Sooner or later, it’s going to have to risk some cash to either keep a proven winner or hire a proven winner. Generally, you get what you pay for in this world.

  3. Anybody catch the Sports Illustrated piece on coaches to be fired. KW is in there.

    He also a few weeks ago – reached the number 1 spot on a handful of coaches on the hot seat sights.

    Just pointing out for those who may have missed.

    One thing I think that is interesting is how national ( more focused on the bottom line big picture and less on all the little things ) media and national opinion vary from a more local viewpoint.

    The local or IU fans seems to be a little more forgiving than the more distant individual viewing IU football.

    I think sometimes being further removed from a situation actually can – in many cases – give a clearer picture of things than someone who is more involved and closer to a situation.

    The national perspective is that KW has not got the job done and has had enough time to do so. No excuses. Not a HC – just an OC wanting to be a HC.

    Obviously – these are articles and nothing more. But – the SI one suggests some replacements which do not exactly inspire hope. And certainly – are not the big name splashes many would want or have suggested if KW was to be fired.

  4. The media always reaches for sensationalism with the big bang approach. They offer no insight. Just a keen grasp of the obvious since no observation or evaluation skills are needed to look up a W/L.

    I do think we might see a shake up in staff assistant(s).

  5. Just a quick poll here. We are almost done with the college regular season. Based on what you have seen today from college football, put out there 2-3 coaches that you would like to see take Wilson’s place. Having said that, make it realistic. I too would like to see Saban here, but that just isn’t realistic. Take into consideration what IU is willing to pay, who would be willing to take the job, and who you think could be more successful in all phases of the coaching position. Remember we are almost to the end of the college season so you can’t use the excuse that it is too early in the season to pick a couple. What say you?

  6. I’ll think about your poll question there 1992 and give my two cents later. HC – you kind of brought up a point I thought should have been done this year.

    If I were KW – I would have and I guess what I myself would have liked to have seen – is KW go ahead and be his own OC. Obviously – he has input and game plans – and can obviously overrule a play call. But I’m not sure how often that occurs.

    I think he has OC skills and experience. I would have like to see him call the plays solely for a few reasons. It eliminates and fingers being pointed on that side of the ball – it plays into his skill set and I personally wouldn’t want someone else deciding my fate.

  7. I completely agree with Hoosier Clarion that the media over simplifies (and sensationalizes) the issue. I’ve said this before and I’ say it again that this is not a CKW problem alone and even if he were to be replaced, it would likely make little or no difference. I’m not necessarily defending Wilson. I ‘m not at all sure he’s head coaching material. In fact, I think he is lacking some very critical leadership and PR sills. However the HC role is just one aspect of a program that is currently underperforming in ALL aspects. I don’t know what the answer is. I think the answer probably requires the appointment of a FB “Czar” someone to lead (turn around) the entire program effort kind of the way Alvarez did at Wiscy. I was hoping that Glass would be that person…not sure though…smart guy but somewhat lacking the kind of charisma that this effort absolutely requires

  8. I am beginning to wonder if IU football is at the point that it needs to look at dropping to Div 1-AA or whatever they call it. I don’t think it is a sign of giving up, more a sign of regrouping. At one time Duke and UConn were Div 1-AA, even with very successful basketball programs. Maybe it is time that IU looks at that. Play at that division for a few years and figure out who they are as a football program. Put together some winning seasons and get back into Div 1. I know it does sound crazy, but I don’t see things getting better and with half the crowd on here wanting Wilson gone we just become another revolving door of coaches that just keeps getting mediocre coach after mediocre coach. It won’t end. Unless IU is willing to open up the coffers, throw money at a big name coach it just isn’t going to get better. I am sorry to be a downer, but maybe it is time to face reality here and punt.

  9. To give up D1 would be to give up the B1G. Not happening. As far as FB they are on the right path with Wilson. Like I’ve stated before read about Frank Beamer’s long ramp up at VT.

  10. Beamer as with others were not overnight successes, however Beamer had some success after season 2 and then fell off to inconsistent until he more permanently turned the ship (one game was at IU’S expense in a bowl game). I would vote to let Wilson play out his contract or to last year. Goal is get solid success before then (7 wins) with good character fb players. They are great when interviewed by DF on IU football show. To answer question about future possibilities I would keep an eye on Ball State HC and maybe even Indiana State HC; how there programs are doing in 2 or 3 years. Not now though so nothing really to talk about, however I just did.

  11. Let’s resume the conversation about Wilson next year at this time. We’ll either be singing his praises or he’ll have convinced most of us that he’s not a head coach. He’s not going anywhere for at least another year, nor should he. He’s got a great opportunity next year. Senior QB returns, great RB returns, O-line is bigger/stronger, defense bigger/faster and more experienced, and wide receivers stronger and more experienced. Then, if he wins seven next years, a few hack journalists will be putting his name on lists of those coaches most likely to be poached by other teams. Frankly, that’s the kind of problem I’d like IU to have.

  12. Po – which is exactly what I’ve been saying about Crean and ’14-15… He finally has built the type of team, with the type of recruits, that are all his guys, which fit his basketball agenda. Now it’s put up or shut up. If he can’t get it done, and by that I mean exceed expectations for the season, then he needs to go. Personally, I’d like to see this team win 22+ games, get an 8 seed or better, and have everyone come back next year. Then see what Crean can do with a group that is not only in his mold, but also has some experience.

  13. HC, I don’t believe most IU fans are aware of the VT portion of the Frank Beamer’s coaching career. Many probably don’t know that Beamer compiled a record of 42-23-2 (.642 winning percentage) in six years as head coach at Murray State before taking the VT job. He arrived at VT as a proven winner. That’s a huge difference compared to a first-time head coach who has never lead a team to a winning season. Beamer lead VT to a winning record in his third year as VT’s head coach, and again the next year. So in his first four seasons at VT, Beamer’s teams produced two winning seasons (6-4-1 and 7-4) and had an overall record of 18 – 23, for a winning percentage of .418. In his fifth year at VT, Beamer produced a 5-6 record. He then had a very bad sixth year at 2-8-1. He probably saved his job by going 9-3 and winning the Indpendance Bowl in his seventh season.

    But even though that’s ancient history, it’s not hard to see why VT kept him on after four seasons. It’s not like VT had the super-high expectations of a national power, like Florida, before Beamer arrived on campus! And there’s a huge difference between a coach who arrives as a proven winner, who produces two winning seasons in the first four years as the new head coach, and Wilson’s record at IU. Not suggesting IU should fire Wilson, but using Beamer as an example of why IU should hang in with Wilson is not valid. If Wilson was about to complete his second winning season after four year’s as IU’s head coach, I’d be donating money to build a statue of Wilson outside Memorial Stadium and demanding IU double his salary. Based on their respective records, their is no comparison between Wilson and Beamer. Let’s hope that begins to change next year.

  14. Interesting reading all of the various opinions here. My issue with KW is that I see such inconsistent play each and every week, almost as if there is no evidence that the coaches have a clue as to what the “plan” is. KW’s teams often make little or no adjustments at half time, as we witness game after game where the opponent ramps it up and lays it on as the second half plays out. This pattern has not seemed to change from the beginning of KW’s term, and that to me is very telling. All in all, the only game that stands out is the Missouri game from this year, and that is hardly enough to warrant keeping him around. I’m sure that Glass will give KW at least one more year, but nothing I see inspires the hope that things are going to change much. In fact, I expect the students and alumni will not be very interested in IU football next year unless something dramatic takes place. Finally, if Urban Liar and his boys stuff the Hoosiers tomorrow (which is quite likely with all that the Buckeyes have at stake) I expect the KW doubters – like me – to be out in full force. This is just a very sad situation, pathetic in many ways.

  15. Chaz, you’re right, you are pathetic.

    I don’t think you have the ability to look at what is going on inside the Hoosiers; the much improved offensive line play, the improving play of the defensive line and defensive linebackers, the fact in these area we are B1G competitive. We do have weaknesses; the disappointing rising receivers that are not coming close to replacing our losses, defensive backs that have shown little improvement though as a group they have a sounder game plan. We were very unlucky at the crucial qb position…but you wpuld much rather do what IU fans have done for two decades, criticize everything…and see no improvement…it’s better to allow you to cackle inside your chicken-wire fence.

  16. Podunker, good idea…let’s just hold off judgement we’re not qualified to make until the 8th-9th game next year. (I may answer one or two over-the-top comments against KW or Hoosiers from other postors.)

  17. Po, It is explicitly valid. The theme of the comparison either went over your head, between your legs or by your blind eye. The point you do not grasp is the VT turn around was a big job for an experienced HC. To think the task at IU is not more comprehensive than at VT is shallow logic.

  18. HC, it’s so unlike you to not do your homework. Your theme didn’t go over my head because it never got off the ground. It evaporates into thin air when confronted by the facts. Too bad that when the facts don’t support your theme you attempt to insult the person who exposed your flawed position. What VT turnaround are you referring to? Frank Beamer was preceded at VT by Bill Dooley. Dooley is the second winningest coach in the history of VT and also enjoys the second highest winning percentage in VT Football history. Dooley’s record at VT was 63-38-1 (.617 winning %). The season before Beamer took over at VT, Dooley lead VT to a 10-1-1 record and a win in the Peach Bowl. That was the last of his seven consecutive winning seasons! So again, I ask, what turnaround are you referring to? Dooley left VT after allegations of recruiting violations (only allegations, never proven) and took the coaching job at Wake Forest. You may recall that he sued VT for $3,500,000 for violation of contract, and the case was settled out of court (meaning he had VT by the balls and they wanted to minimize the damage and humiliation associated with losing the case in court). Beamer did not turn anything around at VT. VT Football was a very successful football program before Beamer arrived on campus. Losing Dooley to an acrimonious and legally contested termination may have been a temporary setback for VT football, but the solid foundation of a successful football program had long since been established at VT before Beamer ever arrived on campus. You’re welcome to your opinion that IU should keep Wilson for another year or two. I agree with that to a point. But using Beamer’s early tenure at VT as a theme to support your opinion that IU should keep Wilson is nonsense. No part of VT Football’s history, either before Beamer arrived at VT or during the first four seasons he coached there, or Beamer’s record as a head coach before he got to VT, resembles the recent history of IU football or Wilson’s experience. The theme you’re trying to create is simply not supported by any reasonable interpretation of the facts. Clearly not your best effort, HC.

  19. Po, I can’t insult someone who just does not get it. It indeed went over your head and I cannot articulate either any clearer.

  20. Your ego’s getting the better of your judgement, HC. There’s nothing for me to get because your argument in this case is bankrupt. You referred to the “turnaround” in VT Football. The facts show that Beamer did not produce any turnaround because there was no turnaround. In fact, you’d have a stronger argument saying that VT football took a step backward for two years after Beamer arrived. That’s what the facts indicate.

    The most reliable indication of a person’s future performance is his past performance. Beamer was a proven winner as a head football coach upon arriving at VT. He took over a program that had enjoyed seven consecutive winning seasons and gone 10-1-1 the year before. Wilson arrived at IU without having provided any indication that he could win as a college football head coach, because he’d never been a college football head coach before. IU had not produced a winning record for seven consecutive seasons before he got here. You need to find a better example to support your argument for why IU should stay with Wilson for another year or two. Mine is simple. Keeping Wilson next year gives IU the best chance of producing a winning season for the first time in nine seasons.

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