published Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Tennessee Vols set assistants' pay

UT coaching salaries

The salaries for the new assistant football coaches at Tennessee will coast just over $3 million in 2013, a slight increase over the salaries for former coach Derek Dooley's staff last season.

Coach // Position // Salary // 2012 Salary (Program)

Mike Bajakian // Offensive coordinator/Quarterbacks // $475,000 // $261,000 (Cincinnati)

Zach Azzanni // Wide receivers // $300,000 // $200,000 (Wisconsin)

Jay Graham // Running backs // $260,000 // $225,000 (Tennessee)

Don Mahoney // Offensive line // $350,000 // $221,000 (Cincinnati)

Mark Elder // Tight ends/special teams coordinator // $220,000 // $156,000 (Cincinnati)

John Jancek // Defensive coordinator // $475,000 // $241,000 (Cincinnati)

Steve Stripling // Defensive line/assistant head coach // $380,000 // $258,000 (Cincinnati)

Tommy Thigpen // Linebackers // $345,000 // $322,500 (Auburn)

Willie Martinez // Secondary // $280,000 // $255,000 (Auburn)

KNOXVILLE — Pen has yet to be put to contract paper. The checks have started coming, though.

New Tennessee football coach Butch Jones' first staff with the Volunteers will make a combined $3.085 million in 2013, according to salary numbers the university released Wednesday in response to a records request by the Times Free Press.

Jones' initial memorandum of understanding called for a minimum salary pool of $3 million for assistants. It's a big increase for Jones, whose staff combined to make $1.696 million at Cincinnati in 2012. Derek Dooley's staffs with the Vols made $2.975 million in 2012, $3.275 million in 2011 and $2.725 million in Dooley's first season at UT.

Tennessee could eventually pay about $7 million to buy out Dooley and his final staff depending on the salaries of the five remaining assistants at their new jobs. Jim Chaney (Arkansas), Sam Pittman (Arkansas) and Sal Sunseri (Florida State) are the lone assistants who have been hired elsewhere officially.

Jay Graham, the lone holdover on Jones' staff, will get a $35,000 increase in his salary.

Strength and conditioning coach Dave Lawson's salary is $175,000. Ron McKeefery, Tennessee's previous strength coach, made $225,000 in 2011 and $240,000 in 2012. He was scheduled to make $255,000 in 2013.

The university has yet to release any official contracts for the new assistant coaches, and the length of the deals, buyout information, incentives and any potential yearly increases in salaries won't be known until those are released.

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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