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Football: UL offensive assistant football coaches to receive raises

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, March 11, 2015


UL’s five offensive assistant football coaches all will receive pay raises for the 2015 season, according to salary figures recently requested and obtained from the school Wednesday.

Offensive coordinator Jay Johnson, working on a contract that runs through the end of May 2016, will make $210,000 in the season to come.

That’s a bump from what was originally a two-year deal in which Johnson, also UL’s quarterbacks coach, was slated to make $190,000 annually.

Tight end coach/recruiting coordinator Reed Stringer is slotted to earn $140,000 this season, offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue $135,000, receivers coach Jorge Munoz $120,000 and running backs coach Marquase Lovings $95,000.

Rodrigue for now is working on a contract that runs through the end of this May.

Stringer, Munoz and Lovings do not have contracts — something that is not unusual for Sun Belt Conference assistant coaches.

Last year Stringer made $117,500, Rodrigue made $123,000, Munoz made $107,500 and Lovings made $71,500.

All five have been at UL at least as long as head coach Mark Hudspeth’s first season in 2011, and all were rewarded for helping the Ragin’ Cajuns finish 9-4 for a fourth straight year and win a fourth straight New Orleans Bowl.

UL lowered its entire staff salary for full-time assistants from $1,064,500 last season to $1,040,000, but the offensive assistants all were able to receive raises in part thanks to savings on the defensive side.

New UL defensive coordinator Melvin Smith is slated to make $70,000 in 2015, new defensive line coach Levorn Harbin will make $90,000 and new inside linebackers coach Mike Lucas $100,000.

Former Auburn safeties coach Charlie Harbison — who is fully expected to serve as UL’s outside linebackers coach, but whose hiring still has not yet been officially announced by the school — is expected to make $80,000 this year.

Harbison also is expected to hold the title “co-defensive coordinator.”

He and Smith will make less combined than was made last year by former Cajuns defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach James Willis, who left earlier this year to join the staff of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints with the title “defensive assistant/linebackers.”

Willis made $165,000 last year.

The Cajuns were able to get Smith on the cheap and will be able to do the same with Harbison because both are still being paid by Auburn, which fired them after last season.

Because they were still under contract there before being let go when new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp was hired, they are still their full salary from the Tigers minus what UL is paying.

In the case of Smith, that means $325,000 minus his $70,000 from the Cajuns.

In the case of Harbison, according the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper, it means “$475,000 annually through June 2017 less any compensation he earns during that period.”

While all five offensive assistants have been on UL’s staff at least since Hudspeth’s first season, all four on defense are new to the Cajuns this season.

Harbin was a defensive line assistant (not full-fledged assistant coach) at Auburn the last two years, and Lucas, a former Southeastern Louisiana head coach, was Northwestern State’s defensive coordinator last season.

Harbin replaces Tim Edwards, who made $95,000 last year and was let go after last season. He’s now an assistant at the University of Buffalo. Harbison is expected to take the spot that was held at the start of last season by David Saunders, who was making $93,500 before disassociating from the program. UL’s ex-secondary coach, new Nicholls State head coach Tim Rebowe, made $101,500 last year.

None of UL’s planned four defensive assistant coaches for 2015 are under contract.

According to terms of a contract that was amended last spring and that runs through then end of 2019, Hudspeth will make $1 million this year in base salary and contingent premium benefits, plus various benefits, bonuses and supplemental compensation.

LAGNIAPPE: Cajuns defensive back Dominick Jones, who started early last season at cornerback, is working as a safety this spring. … Defensive lineman Marquis White was on crutches with Wednesday with an apparent ankle/foot injury. … Juco-transfer Antoinne Adkins, who bounced between defensive back and slot receiver during his brief stay at UL last year, is not with the team this spring. He actually left the Cajuns before their New Orleans Bowl win over Tulane last December, but the program did not disclose his departure until this week. … Former LSU running back Jeryl Brazil, now with the UL track team, has not been taking part in spring drills but did watch part of Tuesday’s practice. He’s expected to get a shot at football this summer. … Redshirt-junior Brooks Haack, competing with Jalen Nixon and Jordan Davis for UL’s starting quarterback job, looked especially sharp working with the No. 1 offense Tuesday. … The Cajuns are scheduled to hold their fifth practice of the spring on Thursday and to scrimmage at Cajun Field for the first time Saturday morning.


UL assistant football coach salaries for 2015, as obtained Wednesday:

Name … Position …. 2015 salary … 2014 UL salary

Jay Johnson … Offensive coordinator/QBs … $210,000 … $190,000

Reed Stringer … Recruiting coordinator/TEs … $140,000 … $117,500

Mitch Rodrigue … OL … $135,00 … $123,000

Jorge Munoz … WRs … $120,000 … $107,500

Mike Lucas … ILBs … $100,000 … New at UL

Marquase Lovings … RBs … $95,000 … $71,500

Levorn Harbin … DL … $95,000 … New at UL

Charlie Harbison … OLBs … $80,000 … New at UL

Melvin Smith … Defensive coordinator/DBs … $70,000 … New at UL