We have discussed extensively on the this site about Pat Narduzzi’s tenure so far and what might happen if any of the bigger, richer schools come knocking on his door. I have been consistent in saying that I highly doubt Pitt would match any $3.5 to $5.0M dollar per year offers he may get.
Why do I believe that? Because Pitt does not pay the higher salary rates to head coaches in any sport – we just don’t and that fact has been bolstered by the revealing of Narduzzi’s 2016 salary through IRS documents as reported by the Post-Gazette.
“Pitt football coach Pat Narduzzi made $1.83 million in total compensation in 2016, according to federal tax documents released by the university Friday.
Narduzzi’s inclusion on Pitt’s IRS Form 990 was his first since being hired by the school in December 2014. The university’s most recent form covers a time period from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.
Of Narduzzi’s total salary, $1.31 million came from base compensation, with an additional $450,000 coming from bonus and incentive compensation. His salary is slightly higher than that of former coach Paul Chryst in his final year at the school, a span in which he earned $1.7 million from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015″.
We know that back in 2015 Narduzzi was given a re-written contract with an extension until 2021 and a pay raise. I can assure you that it wasn’t a big raise but it bumped him up a bit. An extension was done basically to raise the buy-out clause money which is what a competing school would have to compensate Pitt for if they hire Narduzzi away from the university.
Anyone ever wonder why Pitt never hires new head coaches who haven’t been HC’s at even middling to bigger schools? Simple – it is because we won’t pay the buy-out money to do so. Getting Walt Harris from the QB coach position at OSU didn’t have a buy-out, it cost us just salary for Wannstedt as he was not a college HC and then getting Coordinators Chryst and Narduzzi avoided any buy-out costs also.
So – Narduzzi would sit at #60 out of the 119 college football coaches listed for the 2016 year. Actually we maybe even lower given that schools like Baylor, USC and Miami don’t let their salaries be public either.
Get that? Number 60 is the 50th percentile of all listed HCs and is perfectly indicative of Pitt’s approach to football in general. We say we want big success badly until it costs real money and then we are willing to let the HCs go and in turn keep hiring lesser known and lesser cost personnel.
And that is exactly what we will see happen if Narduzzi does well enough to have any of the wealthier perennial Top 25 schools come calling.
Here is a listing of the latest in salaries for the Top 25 highest paid head coaches – you need to look at the column headed “Total Pay” for the comparison to Narduzzi’s 2016 $1.83M total compensation.
See it anywhere in that listing above? No. If you want to cry in your beer look at what the big schools pay the assistant coaches on the football staff. Do we really believe that Pitt made a serious offer to OC Matt Canada after seeing this. Well, we didn’t because we knew LSU was going to give him almost double what we could offer.
Look who sits at #1 in asst. Coaches’ pay – LSU.
I’d be shocked if we even paid the $2M total listed for where we are rankedat around #60. Take a look at this chart of the lower ranked HC salaries below. In it you see that Narduzzi’s salary would fit in around 60th and now look at the schools surrounding that number.
(The fact that he isn’t actually listed is because Pitt does not make salaries and compensation numbers public – the IRS document in the article is cover under the FOIA act so Pitt isn’t on the actual list.)
Folks – that is exactly where we are and where Pitt is completely content to be year after year after year. Oh – it’s great if we pop into the Top 25 every so often and Pitt considers that fantastic results for the low prices we pay.
If any Pitt fan thinks that Pat Narduzzi is so valuable to the university that they will match any BIG money salary offers you are mistaken. The University of Washington is 25th in the list at $3.6 and that would be doubling Narduzzi’s 2016 salary which I guarantee you we didn’t and won’t do.
The hard truth is that if Narduzzi does very well this year; wins a bowl game and gets into the Top 20 or so, someone will come gunning for him – and they will be offering at least $3.5M but it will probably be in the $3.5-$5M range.
We well could have seen that happen after last season if we had won that Pinstripe bowl, been 9-4 and ranked as high as #15th… and he’d probably be gone by now.
All that said – loyalty is a lovely thing. I had that big time in my profession for 33 years and it was a huge factor in my staying past the 20 year retirement eligibility date. But if someone offered to pay two or three times my total compensation package I’d have to have thought long and hard.
Even then we are only talking in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range. (Actually I did turn down a wonderful bigger offer because I didn’t want to move to California – but it was nowhere near the million dollar mark.)
Believe me, unless you are crazy Joe Paterno who (wink, wink – nod, nod) supposedly turned down pay raises for 30 years, every HC in his right mind is going to jump at an annual pay increase of multiple millions of dollars and let loyalty be damned – and don’t think they won’t. That is serious F-U money and provides for multiple generations of family member’s well-being.
We can hope against hope that something has drastically changed in this area however our track record clearly states that we are a stepping-stone program. We hire and get used by coaches who have their eyes set on bigger and better opportunities and that is the way of the world in both sports and in business.
I don’t see that changing any time soon.
Things are going to be very interesting for this next season in many different ways – and this is one issue that may end up being the big topic of interest when the dust settles on 2017.