Last year at this time, Steve Spurrier said his $3.3 million salary was “plenty.”
After another 11-2 season, South Carolina will give him a raise anyway.
The university’s Board of Trustees is expected to approve a new salary of $4 million per year for Spurrier, as well as raises and extensions for the Gamecocks’ assistant coaches, during a 9:30 a.m. conference call Thursday, a source told The State on Wednesday.
The increase will make Spurrier, who is 33-6 in the past three seasons and 77-39 overall at the school, the ninth-highest paid coach in the country. Alabama’s Nick Saban is the nation’s highest paid at $5.4 million per year, followed by Arkansas’ Bret Bielema ($5.16 million), Texas’ Charlie Strong ($5 million), Tennessee’s Butch Jones ($4.86), Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops ($4.74), Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ($4.61 million), LSU’s Les Miles ($4.3 million), Michigan’s Brady Hoke ($4.15 million) and Spurrier.
Athletics director Ray “Tanner has done a super job of (saying), ‘Hey, what’s right and how can we stay aligned in the SEC competitive wise with coaches salaries?’ The president and, from what I am hearing, the Board of Trustees think that keeps us where we should be,” Spurrier said Wednesday night during a postseason edition of his “Carolina Calls” radio show.
The Gamecocks finished the season ranked No. 4 in the country, the highest ranking in school history.
“I guess everybody is pretty fired up and thrilled with what happened,” Spurrier said on “Carolina Calls”. “It was a fun year. I tell you what, our players found a way to win all these games. We didn’t clobber a lot of people. These guys know how to play in the fourth quarter.”
Spurrier, who is under contract through the 2017 season, is the third longest-tenured coach the SEC at one school behind Georgia’s Mark Richt and Missouri’s Gary Pinkel, who joined their schools in 2001. Counting Spurrier’s 12 seasons at Florida, he has coached in the league 21 seasons.
The Gamecocks’ nine-man coaching staff, which has a chance to remain unchanged in the offseason for the first time in Spurrier’s nine-year tenure, is the ninth-highest paid group in the SEC with an annual combined haul of $2.74 million. The staff won’t come close to LSU’s SEC lead of $4.57 million per year for assistant coaches but could jump into the top five if each coach receives a significant bump.
“We do have an outstanding staff, probably don’t get the recognition they deserve,” Spurrier said on “Carolina Calls”. “This is an excellent staff, and they need to be paid among the best in the SEC.”
Once again Wednesday night, Spurrier, 68, addressed the issue of how long he would coach, referencing 66-year-old Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski as an example of a coach continuing to win at close to 70 years old.
“If you continue doing what you did in your 50s, then the age factor doesn’t kick in,” Spurrier said. “It doesn’t kick in until you don’t know what you are doing. Hopefully, I still know what is happening out there.”
Spurrier and many of the team assistant coaches and starters from the 2013 team will be recognized at halftime of Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. basketball game at Colonial Life Arena. Quarterback Connor Shaw, who will be playing in an all-star game on Saturday, recorded a video message that will be played at halftime, Spurrier said.
Spurrier received a two-year extension but no raise last year.
“I’m already embarrassed by how much I make,” he told The State at the time. “I tell some people that and they say, ‘You don’t need to be embarrassed if you look around and see what some of those other coaches are making,’ but I am. I don’t need to make any more.”