When Jeremy Pruitt was launched as the pinnacle coach at Tennessee final 12 months, he spoke about altering the tradition of this system, to show the Volunteers right into a “large, quick, dominating, aggressive, relentless soccer staff that no person within the SEC needs to play.”

And a part of that cultural evolution got here within the weight room.

Earlier than lengthy, Pruitt had employed Craig Fitzgerald away from the NFL’s Houston Texans, the place he had been the pinnacle power and conditioning coach for 4 seasons. Tennessee gave Fitzgerald a three-year contract price $625,000 yearly — a 67 p.c improve over what the college had paid for his predecessor. Then it spent one other $660,000 to renovate the burden room.

“We had been ready to make an funding in that space,” athletic director Phillip Fulmer stated final spring.

With every passing 12 months, the aggression — and spending — in hiring power coaches like Fitzgerald continues to develop. Since 2016, when USA TODAY Sports activities first began monitoring their annual compensation, the variety of power coaches making greater than $500,000 per 12 months has elevated from three to eight. And 17 others now have an annual compensation north of $300,000.

DATABASE: Wage information on school soccer power coaches

Iowa’s Chris Doyle continues to guide the group, with an annual compensation of $725,000 in 2018. He at present makes greater than all however two head coaches within the Mid-American Convention, and he is in line to obtain a elevate to $783,000 in 2019 primarily based on a provision in head coach Kirk Ferentz’s contract.

Elsewhere, colleges proceed to place an emphasis on hiring the best power and conditioning coach — and so they’re prepared to take a position important assets to make sure that such hires are made.

At Michigan, for instance, power coach Ben Herbert acquired a three-year contract with a $450,000 preliminary annual wage and a $50,000 signing bonus, in addition to a dedication to have a $450,000 wage pool for 4 soccer assistant power coaches and one nutritionist. At Texas A&M, new head coach Jimbo Fisher helped woo Jerry Schmidt from Oklahoma with what amounted to a $236,000 elevate from what he made a 12 months in the past.

Whereas Energy 5 colleges nonetheless have the best assets at their disposal, Group of 5 colleges have made substantial commitments to power and conditioning coaches, too. Take Florida Atlantic, the place the Owls tripled the annual compensation of head power and conditioning coach Wilson Love from $80,000 to $250,000 — and gave the 27-year-old the added title of “assistant head soccer coach,” besides.

Head coaches typically describe their power coaches because the individuals who assist construct and keep the tradition of this system, typically within the offseason when contact with the remainder of the workers is proscribed by the NCAA — an integral position within the workers. In order assistant coach salaries proceed to rise, power coach compensation will rise, too. And there isn’t any signal of both slowing down any time quickly.

Blake Toppmeyer of The Knoxville Information Sentinel contributed to this report.

Observe Steve Berkowitz on Twitter @ByBerkowitz. Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.


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