Divide the annual supplement they receive by the actual time they invest year-round into their sport, and most bay area high school football coaches earn a pittance per hour for their toil.
But during the current crisis that has shut down all sports, at least that pittance is being preserved. In most local counties, anyway.
Pasco County, which initially informed coaches they wouldn’t receive the spring portion of their annual supplements due to the cancellation of spring football, is reinstating them, deputy superintendent Ray Gadd said Monday.
They join Hernando and Pinellas counties, which planned to distribute their football coaches’ spring supplements all along. Hillsborough County coaches will not receive their spring supplement.
“In our county, we look at that pay as partially for the work between February and April before spring practice starts. So our intention is to go ahead and pay them the entire supplement,” Pinellas athletic director Al Bennett said.
“That’s our recommendation. I think we’re gonna follow through with that.”
Pasco’s decision follows what Gadd said was a “professional” email sent to him from veteran Mitchell coach Andy Schmitz.
In addition to reinstating the spring portion of the football supplements, the district also will pay the full supplements for other spring sports coaches, who were originally set to have their pay pro-rated due to their seasons being cut short.
On Monday, Schmitz declined to detail the contents of his letter, but said the reinstated pay is “a big step forward” in terms of the district showing appreciation for its coaches.
“I think the fact that they were willing to re-look at this once it was brought to their attention shows that they’re flexible,” Schmitz said, “and shows that they were willing to come at things with a logical perspective.”
Pasco County football coaches earn a supplement of $4,476 divided into fall ($3,100) and spring ($1,376) installments. Assistants eligible for supplements receive $2,190 a year.
Hillsborough football coaches earn $3,736 a year (also split into two installments), with assistants earning just under $1,900. Supplements for Pinellas coaches start at $3,739 a year, with most of that paid in the fall, and increase gradually based on years of experience.
Naturally, coaches in Hillsborough remain miffed at being denied their spring pay.
“I think that if (the county) decided they’re gonna pay the supplements to all of the other spring sports, they probably should’ve followed suit with spring football,” Chamberlain coach Jason Lane said. “I think you need to consider the fact you take a head coaching position for a certain supplement, I think you should get that full amount.”
Armwood’s Evan Davis suggested the spring money earmarked for coaches be used for kids in other ways.
“I understand that they are not going to pay us because we aren’t ‘working,’” he said. “Since this money is already budgeted out, maybe they can purchase Hudl (a scouting software) for every one of our teams. They would come out ahead and it would benefit the kids.”