Rhoads’ coaches at ISU are paid better than Chizik’s

AMES – Iowa State’s assistant football coaches will earn a higher combined salary than their predecessors under former head coach Gene Chizik, according to documents obtained by The Gazette.

The Cyclones’ nine first-year assistants have signed contracts paying them $1.385 million.

Chizik’s staff was to be paid just under $1.35 million during its final year. The coach left for Auburn last December and was replaced by Paul Rhoads.

All of Chizik’s coaches also are no longer with the program.

Rhoads’ top assistants, coordinators Wally Burnham (defense) and Tom Herman (offense), predictably are the highest paid of ISU’s new coaches.

Burnham, who comes to ISU after nine seasons as South Florida’s defensive coordinator, has a two-year contract worth $275,000 annually, a $55,000-a-year raise from what he made at USF.

It also is more than the $257,500 paid to Chizik’s defensive coordinator, Wayne Bolt.

Burnham’s South Florida teams finished in the top 30 in total defense six of the past seven years. He coached previously at South Carolina and Florida State, winning a national championship with the Seminoles in 1993.

“This is my last job,” Burnham, 67, said during a February interview. “I told Paul I’m going to coach as long as I can coach and my health holds up and the kids still respond. I’m expecting to be here a long time and win a lot of games.”

Herman negotiated a three-year contract through the 2011 season, worth $250,000 a year.

Robert McFarland, ISU’s offensive coordinator the previous two seasons, was paid $283,250.

Herman comes from Rice, where the Owls’ wide-open offense set all kinds of records during Herman’s stay. The 33-year-old has never worked professionally outside the state of Texas.

He was a graduate assistant at Texas in 1999 and 2000 under Mack Brown and knows the Big 12 Conference well.

“We might have to do things different than Texas or Oklahoma, but nonetheless I think there’s ample opportunity to succeed here,” Herman said shortly after taking the job.

ISU’s other seven coaches are working under one-year deals. Each makes at least $100,000.

Assistant head coach Bill Bleil and Secondary coach Chris Ash are the highest-paid position coaches at $150,000 a year.

Strength and conditioning coach Yancy McKnight has a two-year contract worth $140,000 per year. That is a bump in pay from Chizik’s strength coach Ken Sheppard, who was paid $113,300. 

Rhoads has a five-year contract worth $5.75 million, an average of $1.15 million per year. He will make $950,000 his first season.


Paul Rhoads’ coaching staff, 2009-10 salary

Wally Burnham, Def. Coordinator/Linebackers, $275,000

Tom Herman, Off. Coordinator/Quarterbacks, $250,000

Bill Bleil, Offensive line/Asst. head coach, $150,000

Chris Ash, Secondary/Recruiting coordinator, $150,000

Courtney Messingham, Tight ends, $120,000

Kenith Pope, Running backs, $120,000

Curtis Bray, Defensive line, $120,000

Shane Burnham, Defensive tackles, $100,000

Luke Wells, Receivers, $100,000

*Yancy McKnight, Strength and Conditioning , $140,000



Gene Chizik’s coaching staff, 2008-09 salary

Robert McFarland, Off. Coordinator, $283,250

Wayne Bolt, Def. coordinator, $257,500

Tony Petersen, Quarterbacks, $159,650

Jay Boulware, Running backs /Special teams, $133,900

Scott Fountain, Tight ends/Recruiting coordinator, $113,300

Mike Pelton, Defensive line, $113,300

Shawn Raney, Secondary $113,300

Jay Rodgers, Receivers, $92,700

Jeff Koonz, Secondary, $82,400

*Ken Sheppard, Strength & Conditioning, $113,300


*NOTE: Strength and Conditioning coaches are not included among the nine full-time assistant coaches allowed under NCAA rules. Their salaries are not included in the combined total used in this story.


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3 Responses to “Rhoads’ coaches at ISU are paid better than Chizik’s”

  1. PantherHawk Says:

    Imagine that, and Chessenerd’s staff actually won a Super Bowl!!

  2. Philbin Says:

    I seem to remember reading that Chizik’s staff was the highest paid in the B12 Conference.

    Have the salaries of other assistants in the B12 risen or are these still the highest?

    • ejpetersen Says:

      Chizik’s staff was never the best paid. I believe when he was hired it was among the best salary packages in the Big 12, but never at the top. Not sure where this puts Rhoads’ staff compared with its peers. Middle of the pack would be my guess.

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