In 40 of the 50 states, the highest-paid public employee is a college coach.
According to a Deadspin study, “the ranks of the highest-paid active public employees include 27 football coaches, 13 basketball coaches, and one hockey coach.” One state–Minnesota–has a basketball coach and football coach tied for the top slot.
Football coaches are the highest-paid state employees in traditional football states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Alabama.
In North Carolina and Florida, basketball coaches are the highest-paid public employees. The same is true in Wisconsin after Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema left to go to Arkansas.
In Nevada, though, a college coach is not at the top of the list. A medical school plastic surgeon comes in at the top spot there. In Maine, the highest-paid public employee is a law school dean. In New York, it is a medical school departement chair.
Other states where the highest-paid public employee is not a college coach include: Alaska, North and South Dakota, Vermont, Massachusetts, Montana, and Delaware.