FAYETTEVILLE -- Defensive coordinator John Chavis will be the highest-paid assistant coach on the 2018 staff of first-year Arkansas Razorbacks Coach Chad Morris, with his salary just short of making him the first $1 million-a-year assistant for the athletic department.
Chavis, entering his 24th year as an SEC defensive coordinator, will make $995,000 this season, based on a copy of his contract received late Friday by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette through a public records request.
Deeper salary pool
• Arkansas Razorbacks football assistant coaches will make a combined $4.345 million in 2018, an increase of 10 percent counting one extra assistant. Last year’s salary pool for assistants was $3.945 million. A comparison of the salaries of the past two staffs of UA football assistants, from highest to lowest salaries:
Coach;2018 salary;Coach;2017 salary
John Chavis;$995,000;Dan Enos;$800,000
Joe Craddock;$600,000;Paul Rhoads;$700,000
Dustin Fry;$400,000;Michael Smith;$400,000
Jeff Traylor;$370,000;Chad Walker;$375,000
Steve Caldwell;$360,000;Kurt Anderson;$370,000
Ron Cooper;$355,000;Barry Lunney Jr.;$350,000
Barry Lunney Jr.;$350,000;John Scott;$340,000
Justin Stepp;$350,000;Reggie Mitchell;$310,000
John Scott;$340,000;Vernon Hargreaves;$300,000
Total;$4.345 mil;Total;$3.945 mil
Offensive coordinator Joe Craddock, entering his first season in the SEC and his third as a major college coordinator, will be paid $600,000.
The total pay for assistants under Morris, who signed a six-year offer letter for $3.5 million a year last month, will be $4.345 million, a record for the football program at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. That marks a rise of $400,000 from the combined salaries of the nine Razorback football assistant coaches last year.
The NCAA has allowed FBS schools to hire a 10th full-time assistant coach for the first time this year. While the total staff pay is up roughly 10 percent for the Razorbacks, the average pay for the 10 assistants is down a fraction, from $438,333 in 2017 to $434,500 this season.
Morris, speaking Dec. 20, described the salary pool he had with the Razorbacks as "fair and comparable to the rest of the SEC."
"I won't want to get into specifics just yet, but I definitely think we're going to be able to attract very much top-caliber and quality individuals here," he said.
Head strength and conditioning coach Trumain Carroll will make $290,000 per season on a three-year contract.
Chavis, 61, will become the highest-paid assistant coach in UA football history. The previous top salary was the $800,000 paid to offensive coordinator Dan Enos in 2017 and defensive coordinator Robb Smith in 2016.
Chavis was paid $1.6 million by Texas A&M last season in the first year of a two-year extension. Based on media reports citing his contract with Texas A&M, the Aggies will be responsible for paying the $605,000 difference between his 2018 salary at Arkansas and what he would have made at Texas A&M to settle the terms of the deal.
Chavis' deal with Arkansas has an option for a two-year extension that would take his total pay to $1.5 million for 2019 and $1.6 million for 2020 if Chavis exercises the option on or before Dec. 1.
The combined salary of Chavis and Craddock comes to $1.595 million, an increase of 6.3 percent over the combined $1.5 million paid to Enos and defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads ($700,000) last year.
Offensive line coach and run-game coordinator Dustin Fry will be the highest-paid noncoordinator on the staff with a salary of $400,000, followed by associate head coach and running backs coach Jeff Traylor at $370,000.
The salaries for the rest of the veteran coaches are grouped in tightly after that, with defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell at $360,000, safeties coach Ron Cooper at $355,000, tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. and receivers coach Justin Stepp at $350,000 each, and defensive tackles coach John Scott at $340,000.
Mark Smith, the 10th assistant who was the recruiting coordinator and not an on-field assistant for Morris at SMU last year, will make $225,000.
Lunney and Scott, the two holdovers from last year's staff under Bret Bielema, are making the same salaries they had in 2017.
Each of the agreements with the assistant coaches includes incentive bonuses on a sliding scale for different levels of bowl appearances, based on their monthly salary.
The UA provided signed copies of employment agreements for Caldwell, Chavis, Scott, Smith and Traylor as well as the strength and conditioning coach Carroll. The agreements for Caldwell, Scott, Smith and Traylor are all two-year deals. The UA provided salaries only for Cooper, Craddock, Fry, Lunney and Stepp, meaning the agreements have yet to be fully executed and signed.
Sports on 01/21/2018
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