Despite a season-long suspension that kept him off the sideline last year, Sean Payton is the nation’s highest paid coach. He took the title from Patriots’ Bill Belichick after agreeing to a five year deal that pays approximately $8 million per year.
Had the list included international coaches, foreign soccer managers would have dominated their American competition as at least six soccer managers make in excess of $10 million annually.
Payton, the head coach of the New Orleans Saints was given a suspension following the revelation of the “bounty scandal,” and will return as the coach this season. He has compiled a 62-34 record as a head coach and led the Saints to a Super Bowl win in 2010.
Belichick, who held the title for two years and is widely seen as one of the best coaches of all-time, holds the #2 spot with Andy Reid according to Forbes.com. The two men each make an estimated $7.5 million per year.
Pete Carroll (Seahawks, $7 million), Jeff Fisher (Rams, $7 million), Doc Rivers (Celtics, $7 million), Mike Shanahan (Redskins, $7 million), Tom Coughlin (Giants, $6.67 million), Chip Kelly (Eagles, $6.5 million), and Greg Popovich (Spurs, $6 million) round out the top ten list.
Interestingly, eight of the top ten highest-paid coaches are from the NFL. Only half of these coaches led teams that made the playoffs, and only the Popovich-led Spurs and Belichick’s Patriots made their conference finals. The Spurs currently lead the Grizzlies 3-0, making Popovich the only coach on the list with a shot to lead his team to the championship.
Meanwhile, the two coaches in the Super Bowl, John and Jim Harbaugh, make $4 million and $5 million respectively. With no college coaches on the list, Nick Saban comes the closest bringing in $5.3 million. Additionally, two coaches from last years list, Lovie Smith and Ken Whisenhunt have since been fired from coaching the Bears and the Cardinals.