Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney are 2017's highest-paid coaches

FILE – In this Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, file photo, Alabama coach Nick Saban and quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) runs onto the field before the team’s NCAA college football game against Arkansas in Tuscaloosa, Ala. No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia are on track to give the SEC two undefeated teams in the championship game for the first time since 2009. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

The coaches that met in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in January are the two highest-paid coaches of the 2017 season.

Alabama coach Nick Saban tops USA Today’s coaching salary database with an annual payout of over $11 million. Saban cracked eight figures this season as part of a $4 million signing bonus applied to the year when he signed his latest contract extension with the school.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is second with annual income of approximately $8.5 million. Swinney signed a contract extension with the school after Clemson’s national title win over Alabama.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh — who topped the list in 2016 — falls to third. Harbaugh was tops because of a life insurance payout last year and is at $7 million this season. Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez round out the top five. Yes, Rodriguez is fifth. Rodriguez’s total compensation essentially doubled from 2016 to 2017 because of his contract.

You can view the entire database at the link above. A few notes from it:

• The lowest-paid Power Five coach is Justin Wilcox. The first-year Cal coach’s compensation is at $1.6 million. He’s No. 66 overall.

• The highest-paid coach in a Group of Five conference is Southern Methodist’s Chad Morris, who is making just over $2 million.

• The lowest-paid coach on the list is New Mexico State’s Doug Martin, who still makes a salary far greater than many of us make. Martin’s salary this year is approximately $375,000. The list only includes public schools, as private schools are not required to make their coaching contracts public.

– – – – – – –

Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!