College football, the NCAA says, isn't about money. However, college coaches make a TON of money - and it's not just head coaches. 15 assistant coaches made over $1 million this past season as salaries continue to rise in order to keep the top coordinators from leaving for head coaching jobs elsewhere. Here are those 15 coaches that are the highest-paid assistants in the country:
15) Wesley McGriff, Ole Miss Rebels - $1 million
McGriff is the associate head coach and defensive coordinator in his second stint at Ole Miss. He has also spent time at Auburn, Vanderbilt, Miami, and with the New Orleans Saints.
14) Todd Orlando, Texas Longhorns - $1.1 million
Orlando followed Tom Herman from Houston to Texas and helped turned the Longhorns into one of the best defenses in the Big 12.
13) Doug Nussmeier, Florida Gators $1.14 million
Nussmeier spent the past three seasons as Florida's offensive coordinator under Jim McElwain and was not retained when Dan Mullen took over the program. He has also been an OC at Michigan, Alabama, Washington, and Fresno State.
12) Jim Leavitt, Oregon Ducks - $1.15 million
Leavitt, the former successful head coach at South Florida, has already said he will follow Willie Taggart to Florida State but was very successful in his lone year at Oregon.
11) Pep Hamilton, Michigan Wolverines - $1.15 million
Hamilton spent the last season as Michigan's assistant head coach and passing game coordinator after spending four seasons as an offensive coordinator in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns. He was with JIm Harbaugh and David Shaw at Stanford prior to do that, and there's a chance he could move on after Michigan's bowl game.
10) Tim Drevno, Michigan Wolverines - $1.15 million
Drevno has been Michigan's offensive coordinator since Harbaugh took over in 2015 after working for him at San Diego, Stanford, and with the San Francisco 49ers.
9) Bob Shoop, Tennessee Volunteers - $1.155 million
It's unclear if Shoop will be retained at Tennessee, where he has been the defensive coordinator two years, under new head coach Jeremy Pruitt. He previously worked under James Franklin at both Vanderbilt and Penn State beforehand.
8) Kevin Steele, Auburn Tigers - $1.2 million
Steele was a candidate for a couple of head coaching jobs, specifically the Tennessee one, and it seems to only be a matter of time before he gets a head gig. He has been an assistant at Florida State, Alabama, Clemson, LSU, and Auburn since 2003, including the last two years with the Tigers.
7) Brian Daboll, Alabama Crimson Tide - $1.2 million
Daboll had spent his entire 17-year coaching career in the NFL before taking the Alabama offensive coordinator job this season and has five Super Bowls on his resume, all with the Patriots.
6) Don Brown, Michigan Wolverines - $1.3 million
The third member of the Michigan coaching staff on this list, Brown is one of the most well-respected defensive coordinators in the country. He's one of the Wolverines' best recruiters and is why they've had an elite defense for the past three seasons.
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5) Jeremy Pruitt, Alabama Crimson Tide - $1.3 million
We already mentioned that Pruitt is now the new head coach at Tennessee, and he has won two national championships during his 11-year collegiate coaching career with Florida State in 2013 and Alabama in 2016. Eight years of his career have been spent with the Tide (2007-12, 2016-17), while he spent that one with Florida State and two at Georgia.
4) Matt Canada, LSU Tigers - $1.5 million
Canada has been the offensive coordinator at Indiana, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, NC State, Pitt, and now LSU over the past decade, and head coach Ed Orgeron specifically targeted him to help fix LSU's offensive woes.
3) John Chavis, Texas A&M Aggies - $1.6 million
Chavis earned a reputation as one of the best defensive coordinators in the business during six seasons with LSU, and he was able to parlay that into a huge contract with Texas A&M, where he has been for the past three seasons.
2) Brent Venables, Clemson Tigers - $1.7 million
Dabo Swinney has credited Venables with being the architect of Clemson's top-notch defense since he took the DC job in 2012, and Clemson has made sure to pay him enough to keep him around. He also received head coaching interest from Arkansas this offseason and should get a head coaching job sooner rather than later. Prior to joining the Tigers, he spent eight seasons as Oklahoma's defensive coordinator.
1) Dave Aranda, LSU Tigers - $1.8 million
At only 41 years old, there might not be a better defensive coordinator in college football than Dave Aranda - and he's being paid like it. The former roommate of Tom Herman (no, seriously), Aranda has had success as a DC at Utah State, Wisconsin, and LSU.