How Much Do High School Football Coaches Make?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When you look on the sidelines of the Vikings/Saints game, you’ll see a lot money in salaries. It’s not just the players, but the coaches raking in big bucks. According to Boyd’s Bets, the combined salaries for the two head coaches is $12-million a year.

But, what about closer to home? How much do high school coaches make? Good Question.

Watching the second game of the 2017 season, fans of St. Paul Johnson and Mound-Westonka know the football coaches have already put in hundreds of hours. One mother remarked that her son’s coaches started the season back in June and July.

But, when asked about how much these coaches are paid for a season, the answers ranged from $700 to $25,000 to “I have no clue.”

WCCO surveyed 10 metro school districts for the answer. The average stipend for a high school head football coach was $6,250 for the season. It ranged from $4,151 in Mound-Westonka to $7,270 in Wayzata.

Jeff McGonigal, Associate Superintendent with Anoka-Hennepin School District has heard the joke about high school coach pay.

“We called it a job that was a dollar an hour,” he said.

Each school board and teacher’s union negotiate an amount for all extracurricular activities and specify it in the teacher contract. Assistant coaches are paid slightly less. Bigger teams with longer season are paid more – like football, basketball and hockey. On average, swimming, softball or track coaches make around $1,000 per season less.

“We have some programs that have 200 or 300 students that could be in the football program and then we have a gymnastics team that might have 15 girls,” McGonigal says. “They’re both important programs and we care about both of them, but the extensiveness of one is different from the other.”

Many high school teams have booster clubs that can give teams more bells and whistle, but boosters can’t supplement a coach’s salary. They can, though, can pay for more coaching positions. For example, Angie Schlangen, head of the Blaine High School football boosters, says her club provides funds to double the amount of football coaches provided by the school.

Most coaches are teachers with the district.

It’s a far cry from the $100,000-plus football coaches can make in some Texas school districts. Many of those coaches are also their school’s athletic coordinators.

“They’re not doing because they’re going to make that kind of money,” says McGonigal. ‘They’re doing it because they love kids and they love coaching.”

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