If it comes down to money for Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich, then apparently the school he’s coached at the last six years won’t be able to hold on to him.
Tennessee has reportedly offered Yurcich the offensive coordinator position for the Vols, and Ohio State reportedly has interest in Yurcich as well. The initial report about UT offering Yurcich also stated that the Vols would give him a “substantial bump” in pay if he took the OC and quarterbacks position at Tennessee.
Right now, Yurcich makes $800,000 annually to call plays and coach quarterbacks for Oklahoma State. According to Yurcich’s head coach, Mike Gundy, the Cowboys may not be able to up that pay much more if it comes to that.
“At some point, Mike’s gonna move on,” Gundy said about Yurcich before Oklahoma State played in the Liberty Bowl agaisnt Missouri. “We would love to keep him here. We’re not gonna be able to pay what other schools could potentially offer him. So if he ever gets a run to be a coordinator at all the schools that are interested in him, or maybe move on to the NFL, that’s probably gonna be his next move versus — you just call it like it is — some of the other head coaching jobs you get at levels that are lower pay, about a third or a fourth of what these guys are making as coordinators.”
This past year, Tennessee paid Tyson Helton just over $1.2 million to be their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Helton was the 12th highest-paid assistant coach in college football in 2018.
Yurcich, meanwhile, made the 40th-most money of any collegiate assistant coach in 2018.
Back in June, Oklahoma State gave Yurcich a significant raise to make him the highest-paid assistant coach in Oklahoma State history. The Cowboys gave Yurcich a $200,000 raise heading into the 2018 season, upping his annual pay from $600,000 to $800,000.
But that total pales in comparison to what the SEC and Big Ten pay their assistants.
In 2018, 21 assistants had a base salary of at least $1 million in college football. Of those 21 assistant coaches, 11 coached in the SEC (including the highest-paid assistant coach in college football, LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda), and five coached in the Big Ten. The only Big 12 assistant who made more than $1 million in 2018 was Texas defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. He made just over $1.7 million for the Longhorns.
Yurcich was tied with Texas OC Tim Beck for the fifth highest-paid assistant in the Big 12 in 2018. His $800,000 salary would’ve made him the 19th highest-paid assistant in the SEC in 2018.
Both of Tennessee’s coordinators made over $800,000 in 2018. As mentioned above, Helton made $1.2 million as the Vols’ OC, and the Vols’ co-defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach Chris Rumph made $805,000. Tennessee’s other co-defensive coordinator, Kevin Sherrer, made $705,000 in 2018. The Vols’ offensive line coach, Will Friend, made $805,000 last season as well.
Yurcich’s offense ranked in the top-15 nationally in both points per game and yards per game in 2018 prior to Oklahoma State’s match-up with Missouri in the Liberty Bowl. Oklahoma State’s 461 points in 12 games this year was only 50 points off the Vols’ 511 points they’ve scored over the last two seasons combined.