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Football: Hudspeth SBC’s highest-paid football coach

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, June 13, 2014

It is not the most-significant aspect of the deal. Salary and buyout terms take precedence there.

But it is notable indeed:

University of Louisiana at Lafayette football coach Mark Hudspeth’s new contract extension has him sitting pretty as the highest-paid coach in the Sun Belt Conference, the league to which the Ragin’ Cajuns belong.

Hudspeth’s extension — three renegotiated years, plus three new years tacked on, bringing the contract now to the end of 2019 — pays $950,000 this year (retroactive to Jan. 1) not including supplements and incentives.

The pact as it stands now — pending approval later this month from the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors — averages $1.075 million over six years, making the six-year total $6.45 million, not including supplements, incentives or retention annuities.

"He deserves to be the highest-paid coach in the Sun Belt," UL athletic director Scott Farmer said. "So it was, I think, the right thing to do.

"I think what he’s done for our program, and the direction he has taken it, and the direction I think it’s continually heading in, is worthy of that salary."

According to a USA Today database of salaries for NCAA FBS college football head coaches, former Western Kentucky coach Bobby Petrino led all Sun Belt coaches in total pay last season at $855,000.

Hudspeth made $750,000 in combined base salary and premium-contingent benefits (private-donor money) in 2013.

USA Today had UL Monroe’s Todd Berry bringing up the eight-program rear last year at $288,268.

With Petrino having moved on from WKU, which is leaving the Sun Belt next month for Conference USA, to Louisville, Hudspeth would have been at the top of the pack for 2014 even without a raise.

The new extension, though, distances him significantly from the rest.

New Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson is making $700,000. No other Sun Belt coach has base pay above $550,000 in 2014, and Scott Satterfield of incoming SBC-member Appalachian State has the lowest base pay at $225,000.

Hudspeth’s Ragin’ Cajuns, Sun Belt co-champs along with Arkansas State in 2013, have enjoyed three straight 9-4 seasons and three straight New Orleans Bowl victories under his command.

"I think they wanted to do that, obviously, for our success that we have had not only in the conference but also winning the third straight bowl game," Hudspeth said of being made No. 1 in the SBC.

"I was just very appreciate of their confidence in the direction of our program," he added, "and I think they see that if we can have continued success it will a huge benefit to our university and to our community."


A look at how much Sun Belt Conference football coaches are scheduled to make in 2014, a list topped by UL’s Mark Hudspeth:

Coach, school, pay

Mark Hudspeth, UL, $950,000

Blake Anderson, Arkansas State, $700,000

Larry Blakeney, Troy, $480,000 (2013 amount)

Trent Miles, Georgia State, $450,000

Joey Jones, South Alabama, $435,000

Dennis Franchione, Texas State, $400,000

Paul Petrino, Idaho*, $390,000

Doug Martin, New Mexico State*, $363,000

Todd Berry, UL Monroe, $306,000

Willie Fritz, Georgia Southern*, $300,000

Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State*, $225,000

Note: Salaries include base pay in public and private funds, but do not include incentives, supplements or annuities

* Incoming Sun Belt football program in 2014

Sources in addition to information obtained by the Daily Advertiser include: Al.com, Arkansas Business, Associated Press, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Las Cruces Sun, Savannah (Ga.) Morning News, Winston-Salem Journal, USA Today