Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer becomes SEC's highest-paid football coach

GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Urban Meyer has agreed to a six-year contract that will make him the highest-paid coach in the SEC.

He will earn $24 million over the life of the contract, $4 million annually, up from the $3.25 million he previously earned, without bonuses.

Meyer, who turned 45 last month, moves up in an elite group of highly paid SEC coaches. Alabama's Nick Saban will earn $3.9 million this season, and LSU coach Les Miles earns about $3.75 million. All three have won BCS titles. Meyer becomes the third highest-paid coach in the country behind USC's Pete Carroll ($4.4 million) and Notre Dame's Charlie Weis ($4.2 million).

"Coach Meyer has certainly proven to be one of the top college football coaches in the country and should be compensated as such," athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a statement. "We are proud he is our coach and we appreciate all that he has done for the Gators."

Meyer has committed to give back $1 million to the Florida Opportunity Scholars program, a UF campaign he co-chairs whose goal is to raise $50 million for economically-disadvantaged undergraduates who are the first in their family to attend college.

"I continue to be very thankful and appreciative for everything the University of Florida and the athletic program has done for me and my family," Meyer said in a statement. "Dr. (Bernie) Machen (UF president), Jeremy Foley and the community make this a special place and I'm honored to be a part of it."

In four seasons at Florida, Meyer has won two BCS titles and compiled a 44-9 record. Meyer's salary increase will be funded through the University Athletic Association and will not use any state money. Florida has faced criticism on whether to give Meyer a raise after it was forced to cut $42.2 million from its budget.

But Machen said Meyer has earned it based on his success on the field and his contribution beyond football.

Florida's football success has benefited the school, Machen said. The UAA gave UF $6 million this year to help with its budget deficit. And since 2005, the UAA has given $17.3 million to the university.

"I believe that Urban Meyer is the best at what he does," Machen said. "He demands excellence of his players on the field and in the classroom. Not only did the University of Florida win a national championship in January, but all 13 seniors earned degrees and the 2008 football team tied an SEC league record with 37 players named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.

"We're proud he's a Gator."

Antonya English can be reached at

Top earners

Highest-paid coaches in college football, based on annual salary:

Coach, schoolSalaryW-L

Pete Carroll, USC$4.4M88-15

Charlie Weis, Notre Dame $4.2M29-21

Urban Meyer, UF $4M44-9 (83-17 overall)

Nick Saban, Alabama $3.9M19-8 (110-50-1)

Other top state coaches

Bobby Bowden, FSU$2.4M309-91-4 (382-123-4)

Jim Leavitt, USF$1.6M87-52

Randy Shannon, Miami$1.5M12-13

Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer becomes SEC's highest-paid football coach 08/03/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 6:57am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jameis Winston's subtle but strong moment of leadership displayed on 'Hard Knocks'


    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs' preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: 'I got your back.'

    Then he proved it.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston throws during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Friday in Cincinnati. [AP photo]
  2. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Highlights — and fights — from Jacksonville


    Greg Auman is back home after two days of joint practices between the Bucs and Jaguars in Jacksonville. He recaps those practices — and fights — and talks about highlights from Tuesday's episode …

    Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Kenneth Walker, right, cannot snag a pass against Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith during a joint NFL football practice Monday in Jacksonville. [Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union]
  3. Who's No. 2: Florida State Seminoles or Ohio State Buckeyes?


    The toughest decision in my first stint as a voter for the AP Top 25 came at the top.

  4. Rays morning after: The real reasons behind Tuesday's win over Blue Jays


    Scoring six runs was the big news for the offensively challenged Rays in Tuesday's victory over the Blue Jays.

    Corey Dickerson (10) celebrates Tuesday's victory with Steven Souza Jr. (20) and Peter Bourjos (18).
  5. Jones: Roberto Aguayo getting the boot was star of Tuesday's 'Hard Knocks'


    TAMPA — Roberto gets cut.

    That was the big story line heading into the second episode of HBO's Hard Knocks, the behind-the-scenes look at Bucs training camp. In fact, it was one of the most anticipated story lines Hard Knocks has had in years.

    Roberto Aguayo watches one of his final kicks Friday for the Bucs.