Starting Salary for Division III Football Coaches
College football is well known not only for stirring excitement tin spectators, but also for providing valuable training to both student players and the athletic staff such as coaches and trainers. The sport also helps to fill in educational coffers as supporters bring in ticket and souvenir revenue. However, the salaries of coaches for college football teams do not always match the sport’s income-generating potential.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association specifies the standards for college sports, including football. For example, teams in Division I must play 50 percent of their regular-season football games against other Division I teams. The team’s sponsoring school must also have at least seven men’s and seven women’s teams, or six men’s and eight women’s teams. There are also requirements for financial aid and scheduling. In contrast, Division III football teams must play over 50 percent of their games against other Division III teams, or against teams whose institutions grant financial aid based on need only and not ability. There are no scheduling or financial aid requirements.
Though college faculty typically need a doctorate degree for tenured positions, those in junior colleges or working part-time can often secure jobs with a master’s. In Division III schools, coaches typically need only a bachelor’s degree. A coaching program is the most desirable, though degrees in exercise and sports science, physiology, kinesiology, physical education and sports medicine are also acceptable. Demonstrated football ability is key, either as a collegiate player, or working as a team intern or assistant.
The Division III coaching jobs posted on the Football Scoop as of 2011 illustrate some of the starting salaries. Illinois College offered $5,000 for ten-months to a starting running back or wide receiver coach with a bachelor’s degree and some collegiate coaching or playing experience. The position also includes a meal plan and off-campus housing, but does not include classes or benefits. Western New England University granted $7,000, a meal plan and low rent housing, but no classes, to a defensive back coach. The job lasted nine months and required a B.A. and some collegiate coaching experience. At Claremont McKenna College, a defensive line coach with an undergraduate degree and one year of college coaching experience received $15,000 for an 11-month, part-time position that included benefits.
Salaries for Division III football coaches are far lower than the wages offered to all coaches, as shown by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2010. Average salaries for all coaches in colleges, universities and professional schools ran a mean $49,140 per year, which was higher than the mean for all coaches at $35,950 per year. The lowest earning 10 percent got a mean $16,380 annually, and the highest 10 percent made a mean $63,720 per year. The best salaries for all coaches were in spectators sports, where wages reached a mean $60,610 per year.