Jeremy Pruitt in Bottom Half of SEC in Annual Salary

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    Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

    Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt is making more money annually than most college football head coaches. But in comparison to his colleagues in the SEC, he’s actually closer to the bottom of the conference than the top.

    USA Today updated their annual coaching salary database for FBS head coaches, and their data shows that Jeremy Pruitt’s salary ranks him 26th among all FBS head coaches. Tennessee is paying Pruitt $3,846,000 annually, and he can earn a maximum bonus of $1.2 million on his current contract.

    While Pruitt’s annual salary still has him inside the top-30 among FBS head coaches, he’s actually in the bottom half of the SEC when it comes to the value of his yearly contract.

    Pruitt’s $3.85 million annual earnings are eighth among SEC head coaches. Pruitt places only ahead of Arkansas head coach Chad Morris (36th), LSU’s Ed Orgeron (37th), Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke (44th), Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason (46th), Mississippi State’s Joe Moorhead (49th), and Missouri’s Barry Odom (56th). Odom is the only SEC head coach not to be in the top-50 of FBS contracts for head coaches.

    Not surprisingly, Alabama’s Nick Saban has the top annual salary among college head coaches. Pruitt’s former boss makes $8,307,000 annually at Alabama. Four other SEC head coaches place inside the top 10 coaching salaries in college football. Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M places 4th, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn places 5th, Georgia’s Kirby Smart places 6th, and Florida’s Dan Mullen comes in at 8th.

    Will Muschamp of South Carolina and Kentucky’s Mark Stoops come in ahead of Pruitt at 21st and 23rd overall respectively.

    According to the database, Pruitt’s buyout with Tennessee under his current contract is $11,780,000. That total is actually one of the lower totals in the SEC, and it’s nothing compared to the $68.1 million buyout that Jimbo Fisher has at Texas A&M. That’s easily the largest buyout in college football currently.

    Last year, former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones was making $4.1 million annually and placed 20th among FBS head coaches.