San Diego State sets bar for IU

December 16, 2008
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I’m sure soon-to-be new Indiana University athletics director Fred Glass took notice of what San Diego State paid to lure football coach Brady Hoke away from Ball State. The cost of luring a top Mid-American Conference coach sure has gone up since IU hired Terry Hoeppner away from Miami of Ohio in late 2004.

SDSU will pay Hoke $3.5 million over five years. That’s $700,000 per year. Quite a bit more than IU paid Hoeppner to move from Miami of Ohio after 13 years there. And it’s certainly more than the $250,000 base salary Bill Lynch is currently making in Bloomington.

I’m not saying that Hoke was a good candidate to replace Lynch, although others have. But it’s clear that getting a coach of his caliber—or better—is going to take a far bigger commitment than the one the school is currently making to Lynch. With a litany of incentives longer than Santa Clause’s naughty and nice list, Lynch can boost his salary considerably, but it’s still no where near the $3 million Iowa pays Kirk Ferentz, the $2.6 million Ohio State pays Jim Tressel or the $2.5 million Michigan pays Rich Rodriguez.

I understand Lynch has been given another year to prove himself, but any time you go 3-9 and lose by 52 points to your arch rival, speculation about your future will follow. And I know, it’s silly to compare IU to Michigan and Ohio State. Well, how about this: Northwestern pays Pat Fitzgerald $750,000 annually and Minnesota pays Tim Brewster $1 million. In case you were wondering, Purdue paid Joe Tiller $1.8 million annually.

I’m not here to argue that these guys deserve their salaries. I’m just stating what it takes to compete in the Big Ten these days. And IU—at least with respect to its football team—is way off the mark. Until they are closer to the mark, they won’t win consistently, they’ll continue to drive fans off in droves, and the task of balancing the athletic department budget will be as daunting as visioning IU football players clenching roses in their teeth any time soon.
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  • Wow...what a contrast. I'm not going to argue the points of high salaries either, because they don't make sense to me. However, when comparing them side by side, it's hard to believe that Hoke and Lynch made similar salaries last year. I think the salaries are ridiculous, but IU isn't even in the same sandbox. They're behind the glass watching everyone else play. For all the whining on the blogs, the IU fans need to start writing checks to Fred Glass for his coaching fund - both for a Lynch buyout and a new $1million coach.
  • I respect Fred Glass giving Lynch another year but right now IU is not even competing in the Big Ten and probably would not have competed in the MAC. IU football is an embarrassment.

    One of my best friends and I made a promise to my dying father that we would go to the Rose Bowl should the Hoosiers ever get back and we would like to be able to do that before we die. I am not even asking for IU to be an OSU or Michigan but how about at least competing?

    IU has to shell out some money in order to build a football program. Look what they are doing with the b-ball program. This year will be a long season but the Hoosier Nation is looking at where Crean will take the program not at the number of wins this year.

    There are plenty of alumni who could easily help with a Lynch buyout -just as someone did with Sampson. Guess I need to get my checkbook out and put my money where my mouth is for the million dollar coach fund.
  • Fred Glass has said 'Lynch gets another year'. And he will. It's definitely true that IU Needs to upgrade it's football coaching staff and should be able to attract some talent with the new facilities coming online and a new coach with a higher base salary.

    How much higher is anyone's guess. But using a California salary for comparison may be less than completely accurate. Fred is a bright guy and he'll figure it out.

    Rest assured, by the end of the season, (and, if Mr. Lynch has another season like the last one, it may not take until the end of the season), the very likely will be an upgrade in place.
  • Based on results and ability Mr. Lynch was well over paid.
  • Turner Gill, Tommy Tuberville, Phil Fulmer might be a bit older but a solid look for a few years, and Tyrone Willingham would all be solid fits at IU.

    If we are going to spend some coin to upgrade the Stadium, you have to spend some coin to get a named coach to fill it.

    The same for Purdue. They may have dropped the ball on the Danny Hope hire when they could have landed a solid transition name to propel their program.

    I've heard an interesting scenario that would be beyond ideal and not that far-fetched... JIM HARBAUGH!!! Tom Crean's Brother In-Law who is obviously well versed in Indiana sports and the Midwest (Colts/Bears). Stanford is a good gig, but not un-leaveable for the right price. You want buzz... Harbaugh would generate buzz, period.
  • I think Harbaugh is solid, and certainly has lot of Midwest connections. He could be a guy who could really compete on the recruiting battle field with some of the Big Ten powers. But his record the past two years does make me a little squeamish.
  • Since Jim Harbaugh's name has come up, I will tell you that his deal with Stanford pays him $1 million annually, ninth of 10 Pac-10 coaches. Ty Willingham, who was also mentioned in a comment above, was paid $1.47 million annually by Washington. I'm not sure you could argue that Willingham's performance warrants that kind of pay. In case you were wondering, the highest paid Pac-10 coach is Pete Carroll, who commands a $4 million annual salary.
  • Anthony,

    In regards to Willingham, he wouldn't get a pay raise after being fired (twice). He would likely be in a position to take a pay reduction and maybe even a large one. At this point I bet he'd be happy to take a more mild job with lesser expectations... or get a comfortable gig as an NFL assistant.

    Harbaugh's 1 million is not out of the question. With Crean's help that would be an ideal situation for everyone.

    There are people that want to see IU Football harness some forward momentum. Facility upgrades are 1 thing and people coughed up $$$ for that. A coach is the next item if Lynch doesn't work out.

    Again... TURNER GILL. Cheaper, likeable, could be the next big thing. Auburn really screwed themselves with Chizik, if not for the sheer fact of negative press from Day 1. You want to make a splash, there it is (or was).

    The likes of Bill Cook or Mark Cuban's services may be neeed on this one.
  • While Lynch may have been considered overpaid by some for the results he produces, it doesn't negate Anthony's point that if you hire someone from the bottom of the cookie jar salary-wise, you're starting off with nothing more than an expectation of failure. Let's bring in someone who actually has a reputation to maintain instead of someone who is living up to expectations by losing.
  • Overpaying for a big-name coach gives a school a short term boost in alumni interest, varsity club dues and season ticket sales. It does not help an historically poor football program turn the corner. The programs that have successfully gone from perennial losers to consistent winners have generally followed a model of hiring a coordinator at a school with a winning tradition and being patient.

    For example, when K-State hired Bill Snyder he had no head coaching experience at the college level, but 10 years as Hayden Fry's offensive coordinator at Iowa. Snyder had losing seasons in three of his first four years and didn't appear in a bowl game until year five.

    Greg Schiano had no head coaching experience and was the defensive coordinator at Miami when Rutgers hired him as head coach. In his first four seasons he went 2-9, 1-11, 5-7 and 4-7 and never won more than 2 conference games.

    Mark Mangino at Kansas had been under Snyder at K-State, and most recently the defensive coordinator on Oklahoma's 2000 national championship team. He did not have a winning season until year 4, although he did have a 6-7 year that ended in a bowl loss earlier.

    All three took historically terrible football programs to the top-5 nationally. The same model works in the B10. When Northwestern hired Gary Barnett in '91, he had been offensive coordinator at Colorado. He went 3-8, 2-9, and 3-7-1 in his first three seasons before back to back Jan. 1 bowl games (including the Rose Bowl).

    Throwing lots of money at the hot name doesn't guarantee success. Look at history. Find a quality coordinator, and be PATIENT. No one is going to turn around IU in one or two years.
  • Nothing against Lynch, but he did not have the creds going in to the job. I thought IU traded up for Hep, settled for what was in the bin when he left so prematurely.

    IU has a great name, great campus, and is about to have much better football facilities. They deserve the same of their football coach and the program. Who the hell's gonna' sit in those new seats?

    Enough of this we're a basketball school crap. (And so much for being basketball school.) It's all about commitment and pride. So we're a basketball school? Someone please explain to me Louisville, Cincinnati, even Kentucky -- all in the same region, and none of them in the same academic and campus-life league as Indiana.

    Just a basketball school? Try telling that to the Music School, the Business School, Journalism, Science, Math, Folklore, Languages, Library schools etc.. That basketball school excuse is crap -- and shameful. Either field a Big 10 football program, or throw in the towel. I say -- put a Big Ten program on the field.

    Bill Lynch? Nice guy, good guy, local guy, but.......
  • Coach Lynch is not a good coach he will be there 1 more year before being fired, in order to pull a high caliber coach for less money youth may be the best factor, from a first time head coach standpoint. thanks
  • I just had to write in because I often disagree with Anthony, but this time I am on the same page!

    The contrast I would draw is the fact the a 3.5 million contract in California is like a 2.5 million dollar contract in Bloomington when taking into account the cost of living differences.
  • Just get the man his own office. That would be a step up from Ball State.

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  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

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