Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Value of SEC Football Coaches

College sports over the years have evolved into big-money business.  And much like in business people expect a return on their investment, whether those people be administrators, fans, or coaches.  This season Kentucky’s football program has not been receiving that all important return on investment from third year coach Joker Phillips.  So far in the 2012 campaign, the ‘Cats find themselves 1-5 with little sign of improvement ahead given injuries, inexperience, and schedule.  So, just what is the University paying for this type of performance?  Joker Phillips is currently the 3rd lowest paid coach in the SEC at 1.7 million dollars per season, ahead of only interim Arkansas Coach, John L. Smith and new Ole Miss Coach, Hugh Freeze.  But, these numbers do little to tell you the performance on the field.  So, to cut through this issue I examined all SEC coaches’ reported salaries and compared them to how many wins they have acquired and to the adjusted performance on the field in 2012.

First a bit of elaboration.  The first few columns are pretty self-explanatory, they’re just yearly salary, wins thus far in 2012, and the price per win that the respective University pays.  Adjusted wins are numbers that give extra credit (+/- .25 wins) for 21+ point wins and subtracts credit for 21+ point losses.  Adjusted cost per win is just like its price per win counterpart, but adjusted for scoring margin.  When making evaluations, use your best judgement.  Would anyone suggest that Nick Saban and Les Miles are giving minimal return to Alabama and LSU? No, they just have high salaries and have played a small number of games, I’d be willing to bet they’d be high up on the list later in the season.  Also, keep in mind that teams have not played the same amount of games and have played different schedules so the numbers are not completely on the same scale right now, but they still give a decent look at financial efficiency.


As you can clearly see from the above table, Joker Phillips is not giving the proper rate of return in any type of performance this season.  In terms of pay scale efficiency Joker is currently only ahead of Auburn’s Gene Chizik who currently is being paid 3.5 million dollars per season.  In terms of adjusted wins Joker’s squad is the only one with fewer than one win (one 21+ point victory, and two 21+ point losses).  There really are few circumstances where this is acceptable and those usually come after a large stint on probation or a coaching change with massive departures.  Unfortunately, those instances do not apply to Kentucky in any way for the 2012 season.  It was stated earlier that Joker Phillips is the third lowest paid coach in the SEC at the current juncture at 1.7 million per year,  so the point could be made that Kentucky is finally getting what it paid for in terms of performance on the field.  Is that a good argument to make?  Given recent home attendance and message board fodder, most fans now are seemingly presenting this argument loud and clear.


Article written by Jonathan Schuette

34 Comments for Value of SEC Football Coaches

  1. Joe
    10:09 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    I like the basketball next to Joker. Too funny. Now fire him.

  2. TakethoseonionsoffmyslidersTim
    10:11 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    Amen to that!

  3. checkers
    10:14 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    Good info, I guess…

    Doesn’t seem to matter how ya cut it – joker is below average. And usually WAY below average.

  4. thenamerobdigity
    10:17 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    I looked at adjusted wins. Florida has 1? They beat A&M and Tennessee on the road.

    Also, Nick Saban being ranked 10th in anything automatically loses credibility of this.

  5. Jay Z
    10:22 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    Ya but Alabama cares way more and will spend more so Saban is fine the only things this shows is Joker hasn’t won very much but it may be worth it to pay more for a coach to get more wins although that might not directly correlate with revenue increase but it’s worth a shot

  6. Blue Jesus
    10:23 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    4) Florida has 5.25 adjusted wins

  7. Dear UL and IU fans, We are national champions; you are not. The end.
    10:25 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    I kinda like Joker, but right now he appears to be about 1.65 million over paid.

  8. kycatman
    10:29 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    Can we Fire him already!!!! The man is way in over his head as a HC. Can anyone really believe that there was actually a Quarterback competition at the beginning of the season for this team!?!?! For any of the coaches to determine that is was between Max Smith & Morgan Newton is absolutely pitiful. We have a bunch of bafoons running the show in football and until somebody in the administration gets a little smarts to them, we will continue the downward hill spiral!! Please Please Please fire Joker and his Crew while we still have some hair on our heads. GO CATS, GO CAL!!!!!!!!

  9. a
    10:33 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    Not that it matters, cause the whole thing is silly, but twice the post says Joker is the second lowest paid coach in the SEC when the chart shows him making more than Smith and Freeze.

  10. tyson
    10:59 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    Hey guys. Remember when we were all jealous that Vandy had such a great coach and we wanted James Franklin here? Yeah, we were so cute back then.

  11. Idiot jumping to conclusions
    11:02 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink


  12. Big Blue in VA
    11:03 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    The term “value” is a little skewed because it only pertains to wins, and does not include football related revenue. The reason Saban and Miles are trailing on this list, and always will be, is because of their salaries. They are paid more to protect and grow the larger sums of money made by these schools. That being said, Joker wouldn’t rank well on by any measure.

  13. calculator
    11:09 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    Why does Joker have the same price per win (1.7 mil) and adjusted price per win (1.7 mil) even though he only has .75 adjusted wins. Shouldnt the price per adjusted win be closer to 2.4 mil?

  14. Yab
    11:10 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    The only number that matters is the one that Petrino needs to coach here.

  15. JBR
    11:24 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    Hey Mitch, I would be a bargain…hire me as HC and I would only charge about $500,000 per win…and still out-earn Joker.

  16. Ohhai
    11:27 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    10. Remember when vandy went into Mizzou and won last week? After we lose to vandy and Missouri by a combined 50 points we might be reliving those cute days

  17. Jonathan Schuette
    11:34 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    13. I considered that, but them I remembered you can’t actually pay the guy more than you pay the guy.

  18. Ohhai
    11:40 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    17. Any chance you can adjust for how many season tickets were canceled because of the coach? Auburn stadium still has fans in the upper deck

  19. Musehobo
    11:41 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    This is absurd. Not only is there no correlation to anything relevant here, but you can’t leave out relevant information and be accurate. Price Per Win? Trust me, I get what you are trying to say. But it’s dumb. And this chart needs an adjusted wins column like Joker needs another injury.

    If you’re talking money, this would HAVE to include revenue. HAVE to. But instead you put adjusted wins? This doesn’t even include incentive bonuses in their contracts.

    Trust me, Alabama and LSU are making hand over fist with their coaches, regardless of their monster contracts.

    How bout let’s make a chart comparing how many yards each team is getting to their respective coach’s salary. That way we can see who’s getting the best deal on yards.

  20. The Miser
    12:00 am October 9, 2012 Permalink

    Money doesn’t talk….IT SCREAMS !!!

  21. Catlogic15
    12:27 am October 9, 2012 Permalink

    The only thing that makes this palatable is that Joker is John L. Smith’s financial advisor.

  22. Realistic Thinker
    1:56 am October 9, 2012 Permalink

    HAHA…#13 was being a smart @$$ trying to burn Schuette but instead poured gasoline on himself and struck a match…LMAO

  23. putinrichie
    5:37 am October 9, 2012 Permalink

    19 – Completely agree. Whoever put this chart together doesn’t use logic very often in their life. By their crazy way of thinking, Joker might have been #1 on this list two years ago and Top 3-5 last year. If this is how you determine value, why wouldn’t you retain Joker? Better yet, why wouldn’t you fire Calipari? Look at Nick Saban being 10th and you will see why this is just awful. Back to my Cal comment, rating value by comparing wins to salary makes no sense as Cal would be next to last in the SEC if a similar poll was done for SEC basketball coaches.

  24. Chris
    6:19 am October 9, 2012 Permalink

    What this shows is that Joker is one of the lowest paid coaches in the SEC – which he should be. Throwing money at a coach doesn’t make them a better coach. If they have success, they need to be rewarded, otherwise not. Joker is the worst coach in the SEC, and for his performance, he seems to be overpaid. When we have 2 victories at the end of the year, that means we would have paid Joker $851,000 per victory. At that rate, can you imagine what we could pay a coach that could win 8 games?

    Joker = failure
    Barnhart = failure

  25. Yab
    6:30 am October 9, 2012 Permalink

    If Barnhart has any killer instinct at all he’ll hire Bobby Petrino. Anyone else is just more of the same.

  26. ukcatsfan2
    6:42 am October 9, 2012 Permalink

    we don’t need anything named Bobby Petrino!

    get some up and coming high octane, high energy, no baggage coach!

  27. KyTom
    6:58 am October 9, 2012 Permalink

    ANOTHER crap post. I was reading an article in a business magazine and they talked about how much Nick Saban had brought into the University of Alabama…..Millions and Millions. That his $4 million salary per year was cheap compared to what he brought in. Where is that? When you have Saban at 10…..You don’t have a clue and stop posting.

  28. Beavis
    7:28 am October 9, 2012 Permalink

    Still like Jon Gruden as the next coach. He would walk into a recruits home,,,he is young,,,has pro experience,,,won a Super Bowl,,,great offensive mind,,,and he could flash that Super Bowl ring he wears. Now tell me that would not impress the recruits. Would have to pay him what he is worth,,,or what he thinks he is worth. Would he take the job ? Make him say no.

  29. Luv me sum cats
    7:51 am October 9, 2012 Permalink

    This guy and his fancy excel spreadsheets. Fire Joker!

  30. Raazoul
    9:26 am October 9, 2012 Permalink

    That picture of the coaches reminds me of the picture of the US Presidents…

  31. catzilla
    9:49 am October 9, 2012 Permalink

    30…Take your towel off of your head & go back where you come from. You suck!

  32. millwooded
    12:26 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    28..would love it, but there’s no way jon would come here! why would he set himself up for failure, when he knows he can wait and get a head coaching job in the nfl?…brother jay is a different story though

  33. Pinch Me Im Sleeping
    1:01 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    Why Gruden? Kentucky should press Mike Tomlin, heck make Bill Belichick say no. I bet with a little cash you could land Pete Carroll. Any big time coach would jump at the chance to coack UK Football.

  34. Beavis
    6:12 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    # 33,,,,thats good,,,,All I am saying ,,if you missed my point,,,make the guy say no to you. Pick up the phone,,,how hard can that be. We don’t need another “coach in waiting” or another one of those “up and coming” coaches that flame out after three years. Enough with those experiments.