Bresnahan highest-paid of Taggart's assistants
USF defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, who brings an NFL background to the Bulls staff, will be the highest-paid of Willie Taggart's nine assistants, earning $350,000, according to documents released to the Times from a public-records request Monday.
Bresnahan, a former NFL coordinator with the Bengals and Raiders, also got a two-year contract, the only assistant to do so. His salary is essentially guaranteed for both years unless he breaches his contract by violating NCAA rules or other misconduct, as was the agreement for defensive coordinator Chris Cosh when he joined USF's staff last year.
Offensive coordinator Walt Wells, who coached with Taggart at Western Kentucky, and defensive backs coach Ron Cooper, who coached for the Bucs in 2012, will earn $210,000 each, while linebackers coach Raymond Woodie, another WKU assistant, will make $200,000. Two more assistants from WKU are next, as defensive line coach Eric Mathies will earn $165,000 and quarterbacks coach Nick Sheridan will make $160,000.
Receivers coach David Reaves, who was out of college football last year, will earn $150,000; newly hired running backs coach Telly Lockette, who was head coach at Miami Central, will earn $140,000, and special-teams coordinator Stu Holt, a former WKU assistant recently promoted from director of player personnel, will earn $130,000.
It's the first time that all nine full-time USF assistants will earn at least $100,000. Taggart's contract allows for a pool of $1.9 million for his assistants, and some of that is being used to help pay his administrative staff: director of player personnel Paul Gonnella, director of football operations Sharrod Everett, assistant director of football operations Trae Hackett and director of player development Marquel Blackwell.
Taggart signed a five-year contract in December that pays him $1.15 million a year. USF's assistants have seen significant increases in their salary pool in recent years as part of new contracts for head coaches -- the current $1.9 million pool is double what USF paid out in 2007, when defensive coordinator Wally Burnham was the highest-paid assistant at $165,000. When USF joined the Big East in 2005, defensive coordinator Rick Kravitz led the staff at $104,000.
The Bulls open spring football Wednesday, and 15 practices wrap up with the annual spring game at Raymond James Stadium on April 13.