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BMATT247: Big expectations

Auburn officially released the contracts of its football coaching staff Monday and the numbers are within accepted norms.

Malzahn signed a 5-year contract with Auburn.

The 10 football coaches will be paid a combined $5,795,000 in base salary, more if they reach certain incentives. Every assistant coach received at least a two-year contract. Ellis Johnson, Rodney Garner and Dameyune Craig all signed three-year deals.

Gus Malzahn signed a five-year contract with a $2.3 million base salary.

Those numbers aren’t surprising when compared to other top college football programs and it’s actually $1.4 million less than Auburn paid Gene Chizik and his staff last season.

But still, the rise in coaching salaries over the past two decades has been amazing. In 1995, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden became the first college coach to make an annual salary of $1 million.

Auburn paid Tommy Tuberville $700,000 to leave Ole Miss in 1999.

Now, two college coaches -- Mack Brown and Nick Saban -- make more than $5 million and nearly 70 top the $1 million mark.

The big contracts and increased profile come with a downside. Expectations have also risen and the patience of fans and school officials has shortened.

Chizik was gone two years after winning the BCS Championship. And Brown, an icon in Texas just a few years ago, has the wolves howling at the gate after a 22-16 record the last three years, his nine straight 10-win seasons nearly forgotten.

It’s win now or else.

Recruiting has evolved into a 365-days a year job. College staffs are swelling as players are evaluated earlier and earlier and the pressure is on to offer top prospects before they start their junior seasons.

College coaches are under increasing pressure to keep their players out of trouble and in school but even the best at handling off the field issues won’t be around long if they don’t win on the field.

It’s big-time college football in the 21st century and there’s no going back.

Here’s a list of the base contracts for Auburn’s football coaches:

HC Gus Malzahn: 5-years, $2.3 million
DC Ellis Johnson: 3-years, $800,000
DL Rodney Garner: 3-years, $500,000
S Charlie Harbison: 2-years, $425,000
OC Rhett Lashlee: 2-years, $350,000
WR Dameyune Craig: 3-years, $350,000
CB Melvin Smith: 2-years, $300,000
OL J.B. Grimes: 2-year, $270,000
RB Tim Horton: 2-year, $250,000
TE Scott Fountain: 2-year, $250,000

Auburn also released the contract of baseball coach Sunny Golloway Monday. He signed a five-year deal worth $650,000, which would make him the second-highest paid coach in the Southeastern Conference based on last season’s salaries.

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