Former Cal assistant coaches Rob Likens and Zach Yenser got promotions in their new assignments at Kansas.
They also, no doubt, got pay raises.
Likely hefty ones.
At Cal, Likens and Yenser were part of an assistants staff whose combined salaries in 2014 ranked last among the Pac-12 Conference’s 10 public universities and second-to-last among all schools in the Power 5 leagues whose figures are public, according to the USA Today’s annual coaching salary survey.
Stanford and USC, as private schools, are not required to reveal their salary figures.
But it’s safe to say the assistant coaches at both schools are compensated better than those on coach Sonny Dykes’ staff. Cal’s combined staff salary was $2,081,600 – about $1.7 million less than UCLA’s aides are paid — and lower than both Oregon State and Washington State.
Likens, who went from assistant head coach/passing game coordinator at Cal to offensive coordinator at KU, earned $135,500 in 2014. Yenser, promoted from offensive line coach in Berkeley to O-line/run game coordinator at KU, made $111,500 last season.
In Lawrence, Kan., where the cost of living is a fraction of what it is in the Bay Area, whatever paychecks Likens and Yenser collect will go a lot further.
If Cal wants to retain assistant coaches — thus establishing stability on Saturdays in the fall and in recruiting — it will have to find a way to compensate them in a way they keeps them from leaving town.
Here’s how Pac-12 schools rank among assistant coaches salaries (with their national ranking in parenthesis):
- UCLA (7) $3,762,500
- Oregon (15) $3,277,584
- Washington (17) $3,250,032
- Arizona St. (23) $3,111,620
- Colorado (36) $2,595,500
- Arizona (38) $2,498,650
- Utah (40) $2,420,000
- Oregon St. (42) $2,347,200
- Washington St. (44) $2,309,124
- Cal (52) $2,081,600
It’s hardly surprising that LSU ($5,499,269) and Alabama ($5,213,400) of the Southeastern Conference top the national list.
But here’s a shocker: Only North Carolina (54th at $2,051,667) resides lower in the national rankings than Cal, among schools from the Power 5 conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC).
And get this: The Bears’ assistants are paid less than those at Army, which is No. 43 at $2,326,450.
Note: The USA Today survey does not include information for 13 schools from the Power 5 leagues — Baylor, Boston College, Duke, Miami, Northwestern, Penn State, Pitt, Stanford, Syracuse, Texas Christian, USC, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.