Nick Saban gets contract extension through 2030. Here's how it stacks up with Kirby Smart's

·3 min read

Nick Saban's stint as the second-highest paid public-school coach did not last long.

The compensation committee for the UA System Board of Trustees voted in approval of a new contract for the Alabama football coach Tuesday that extends him one more year through the 2029 season and ends on Feb. 28, 2030. Saban will make $10.695 million in 2022 in base salary, talent fee and completion benefit. That does not include incentive bonuses.

That's an increase from $9.9 million that Saban was set to make this season.

By the 2029 season, Saban is set to make $12.7 million in his new deal in base salary and talent fee. In that season, Georgia's Kirby Smart is set to make $11.75 million. Smart's deal runs through Dec. 31, 2031.

Smart had been the nation's highest-paid public-school coach after receiving a contract extension earlier this summer, leapfrogging over Saban after the Bulldogs beat the Crimson Tide in the 2022 College Football Playoff. Then Tuesday, Saban moved back ahead of Smart.

Saban is the latest coach to get a new contract this offseason, along with the likes of Smart, Ryan Day at Ohio State ($9.5 million in 2022), LSU hiring Brian Kelly ($9.5 million) and Mel Tucker at Michigan State ($9.5 million). Contracts for private-school coaches such as Southern Cal's Lincoln Riley and Miami's Mario Cristobal are not available through open records requests because each are private universities.

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Saban's contract stipulates that he and/or his representation meet with Byrne every February to look at marketplace trends. If his total guaranteed annual compensation is less than the average of the three highest-paid SEC football coaches or the five highest-paid NCAA coaches, UA would increase his compensation to the higher of the two averages.

"We want to make sure coach Saban and Miss Terry are very happy with our level of support," Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne told The Tuscaloosa News in June. "That has been the case in the past, and that will be the case in the future. So we have ongoing conversations to make sure that’s appropriate."

Saban wasn't the only person from UA to receive a new deal. Byrne also had a new contract approved. He received a three-year extension through June 30, 2029 and a 5% raise, so Byrne will make $1.79 million this year, which continues to increase each year. By 2028-2029, Byrne is set to make $2.36 million. If Byrne were to leave before June 30, 2023, he would owe UA $3 million for his buyout.

New gymnastics coach Ashley Johnson had a deal approved with an annual base salary of $175,000 and talent fee of $10,000. Her deal runs through June 30, 2027.

Meanwhile, men's basketball assistant coach Antoine Pettway signed a new contract for $410,000 that extends him through June 30, 2024. He was set to make $335,000 on a deal that expired in 2023.

Highest paid public school football coaches in annual compensation for 2022 season

Nick Saban, Alabama: $10.695 million

Kirby Smart, Georgia: $10.25 million

Brian Kelly, LSU: $9.5 million

Mel Tucker, Michigan State: $9.5 million

Ryan Day, Ohio State: $9.5 million*

Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M: $9 million

James Franklin, Penn State: $8.5 million

Dabo Swinney, Clemson: $8.5 million

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan: $8.05 million

Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State: $7.5 million

Lane Kiffin, Mississippi: $7.25 million

Billy Napier, Florida: $7.1 million

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: $7 million

Brent Venables, Oklahoma: $7 million

Mark Stoops, Kentucky: $6.75 million

Source: Documents from school obtained through public-records requests.

*Annualized rate that took effect July 1.

USA TODAY's Steve Berkowitz contributed to this report.

Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men's basketball for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Nick Saban contract extension moves him ahead of Kirby Smart in 2022