Posted by Jerry Hinnen
A public records request has resulted in the release of salary information for Texas's nine assistant coaches , and to sum that information up in two words: they're buying.
Only 27 assistants nationwide earned $400,000 or more in 2010, but in 2011 more than half of Texas's staff -- co-offensive coordinators Major Applewhite and Bryan Harsin, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, offensive line coach Stacy Searels, and defensive backs coach Jerry Gray -- will meet that benchmark. Harsin's, Diaz's, and Applewhite's salaries would all rank in the top 15 among assistants nationwide last season. Searels' $425,000 per-year contract would have tied with him with Alabama's (since-retired) Joe Pendry as the FBS's highest-paid offensive line coach.
You get the point: the Longhorns are sparing no expense in the wake of last year's 5-7 disaster and the surprise departure of supposed head coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp. Depending on how well Harsin, Diaz, and the other new assistants perform, it's possible Muschamp's decision to leave for the Florida head coaching job could be a financial blessing in disguise; as the nation's highest-paid assistant a year ago with a salary of better than $900,000, Muschamp bidding Texas goodbye helped free up some of the cash that led the new assistants to sign with the 'Horns.
However you slice it, though, this kind of financial commitment shows that Mack Brown is not planning on meekly fading away after his 2010 catastrophe. He wanted a new, top-dollar staff to whisk away the stench of last year, and he convinced those in charge of the Texas purse-strings to give him that staff. No one can accuse him of shrugging his shoulders at last season, nor the Longhorns of being cheap.
Now Brown just needs to make sure no one can accuse him of wasting that money on another losing season, lest the catcalls continue that his salary is the money the 'Horns ought to be saving.