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Good Question: How Much Do H.S. Coaches Make?

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(credit: CBS) Jason DeRusha
Jason DeRusha filed his first report for WCCO-TV on April Fool's D...
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By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While the University of Minnesota searches for its next million-dollar football coach, high school coaches toil along the sidelines and on the benches for quite a bit less than that.

Theresa from Plymouth wanted to know: How much money do high school coaches make?

The Andover Huskies are still alive in the playoffs — a lot of pressure on the head coach.

“You play football. How much do you think your coach makes?” asked Jason DeRusha.

“$25,000,” said one student and football player.

“I thought it was volunteer,” said another student.

“I think it all depends on how good you do. They should get paid for doing better,” said yet another student.

At powerhouse schools you might expect coaches to make the big bucks, but are coaches on the high school level making any kind of significant money?

“No, not at all,” said Eric Lehtola, the Assistant Principal in charge of activities at Andover High School.

“A coach’s salary is based on what’s in the teachers’ contract,” he said.

At Andover and all five Anoka-Hennepin schools, the head football coach makes a stipend of $5,700.

Football, basketball, hockey and wrestling coaches all make the same.

And if you try to break it down by the hour, it’s not much.

“Oh we would joke about that in the coaches’ room. And maybe it’s a dollar — a dollar an hour by the time you get it all done,” said Lehtola.

Eden Prairie’s head football coach makes $6,400. At Minnetonka they get almost $6,200. Wayzata’s head coach makes the most in our survey, $6,500.

At Wayzata the basketball, hockey and debate coaches make the same.

“And that’s based on the amount of preparation needed, the length of the season, the number of participants,” said Lehtola.

Education Minnesota averaged the top coaching tier in 13 random Minnesota districts for us — it’s about $5,400.

These guys have other jobs.

“It’s a preference for us to hire a teacher as a coach, but it is also legal to hire non-teachers as a coach,” said Lehtola.

Football programs often come close to paying for themselves. Many kids pay fees to play. In Anoka-Hennepin, it’s $290. And ticket revenue can be significant.

“One home game, especially if it’s a cross town rival of one of our schools, it wouldn’t be out of the question to have $15,000 or $20,000 come in as gate receipts that night,” said Lehtola.

To those of you who worry about football getting all the attention, coaches don’t make much more than coaches in other high school sports.

The Wayzata swimming and soccer coaches make just $1,000 less than football.

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