DURHAM, N.C. — Made it to Duke. I knew I was in the right place when I found the empty high school football stadium next to the basketball arena. In a couple of hours, it will still be an empty high school football stadium next to the basketball arena. And that’s just the way Mike Krzyzewski wants it.
Wallace Wade Stadium is a strange backdrop for a game of such significance. But Georgia Tech will take it. Win today and they’ll clinch the ACC Coastal Division and a spot in the conference championship. That, of course, would put one more gold star on
Paul Johnson’s resume, which could lead to yet another raise in his contract.
Johnson already has had his contract re-done once. His current deal, which started in January, bumped his annual salary from $1.6 milion to $2.3 million. According to a recent USA Today salary survey of Divison 1 college coaches, Johnson is the 18th highest paid coach in the nation and second-highest in ACC, behind only Florida State’s Bobby Bowden ($2.319). But with the Jackets ranked No. 7 in all major polls and in the BCS, they’re exceeding expectations for the second straight season. Johnson will be a coveted candidate for schools with openings.
So is he due for another raise? When I asked athletic director Dan Radakovich if he anticipated re-working the contract again, he responded: “When we re-worked Paul’s contract last year, we did so with the expectation that we would have success not only now but over the long term. We did so with complete faith in what Paul and his coaching staff bring to Georgia Tech now and in the future.”
Which means what exactly?
“Contracts are living documents,” Radakovich said.
Johnson has indicted he’s not leaving Tech. He also told me the other that his ego isn’t fed by being a potential candidate at high-profile places like Notre Dame. So in that sense, the Jacket could have him on the sideline for a long time. That said, don’t be surprised if his contract isn’t re-done again.
About today: The Jackets should win without a problem. David Cutcliffe has done a great job at Duke, given what he has to work with. But even at 5-4, the Blue Devils haven’t beaten anybody of significance. They’re also the worst rushing team in the ACC (39.4 yards per game), so the time of possession differential could be fairly ridiculous.
I’ll check back in a little while. Meanwhile, here’s the top 20 paid coaches, according to USA Today. The newspaper reported all but nine of 120 schools cooperated with the survey. There are two notable exceptions: total annual compensation was not available for Charlie Weis (Notre Dame) and Randy Shannon (Miami), both of whom are at private schools. (Annual salary in millions.)
1. Pete Carroll (USC): $4.387
2. Bob Stoops (Oklahoma): $4.303
3. Urban Meyer (Florida): $4.0
4. Nick Saban (Alabama): $3.9
5. Les Miles (LSU): $3.751
6. Jim Tressel (Ohio State): $3.722
7. Mark Richt (Georgia): $3.097
8. Mack Brown (Texas): $3.060
9. Kirk Ferentz (Iowa): $3.024
10. Bobby Petrino (Arkansas): $2.858
11. Jeff Tedford (California): $2.807
12. Mike Leach (Texas Tech): $2.7
13. Gary Pinkel (Missouri): $2.525
14. Rich Rodriguez (Michigan): $2.521
15. Houston Nutt (Mississippi): $2.509
16. Bobby Bowden (FSU): $2.319
17. Mark Mangino (Kansas): $2.303
18. Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech): $2.3
19. Jim Grobe (Wake Forest): $2.172
20. Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech): $2.138