Virginia Tech Releases Salaries For Assistant Coaches

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Justin Hamilton, Virginia Tech
Justin Hamilton will make $600,000 as Virginia Tech’s defensive coordinator. (Ivan Morozov)

Virginia Tech has (mostly) finalized the salaries for the 2020 football coaching staff, according to reports by Andy Bitter of The Athletic and Mike Niziolek of The Roanoke Times.  There are two exceptions.  The listed salaries for offensive line coach Vance Vice and offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen are their 2019 salaries.  Their contracts will expire this summer and will be renegotiated at that time.

Here are the salaries for each coach, according to this Tweet by Bitter…

DC/S Justin Hamilton: $600,000
LB Tracy Claeys: $500,000
OC/QB Brad Cornelsen: $450,000 +$40k retention bonus
ST/TE James Shibest: $420,000 + $55k
DL Bill Teerlinck: $400,000
WR Jafar Williams: $280,000
OL Vance Vice: $260,000 + $40k retention bonus
RB Adam Lechtenberg: $200,000
DL Darryl Tapp: $175,000
CB Ryan Smith: $175,000

Three coaches – Cornelsen, TE/Special Teams coordinator James Shibest and Vice – have retention bonuses.  As noted above, Cornelsen and Vice will be given new contracts this summer, so their salaries could be a bit higher once we get to the month of July.

New coaches Darryl Tapp and Ryan Smith are paid $175,000 based on their inexperience.  Tapp has never been a full-time assistant, and Smith has never coached at the FBS level.  However, the two more experienced defensive coaches are well compensated.  Bill Teerlinck will make $400,000 after leaving the Buffalo Bills, while former Minnesota head coach and defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys will make $500,000.

From Niziolek’s article in the Roanoke Times: “According to USA Today’s coaching salary database, Tech’s total salary poll for assistants last year was $3.67 million and ranked No. 37 nationally.”

If Cornelsen and Vice are re-signed at the same salary level and retention bonuses are included and remain the same, the Tech staff will make $3.595 million in 2020, which is a slight decrease with Bud Foster and his $975,000 salary coming off the books.  However, that $3.595 million figure will likely increase after the deals of Cornelsen and Vice are renegotiated.

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17 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Coaches can help themselves with recruiting results. When you get the “top recruits” coaching becomes secondary and everyone’s job becomes a lot easier. Ask the coaches at Clemson.

  2. I’d imagine that Vice and Cornelsen will be moving up on the scale with their renewals. Vice to be on par with the Teerlinck coach and Cornelsen to be on par with the Hamilton with some sort of base plus retention program. We’ll see in a couple months.

  3. Darryl Is working for peanuts. Absolutely doesn’t need the money but for a guy who spent 12 years in the NFL, this is basically charity work.

    1. It’s his first coaching gig, I imagine he sees it as a great starting opportunity and a lot of room to go up. He has to start somewhere and like you said he doesn’t need the money.

  4. Too little for a guy with his background. Our D has a good year and Claeys will be offered way more than that by a deeper pocketed school.

    Corny under $500K is low as well.

  5. So we basically traded Bud and Wiles and their salaries for Claeys and Teerlink’s salaries plus Hamilton’s DC salary raise? Is that a good deal? Time will tell.

    1. I don’t think it would have looked good if he made the same as a position coach. With Claeys making 500k, as the coordinator, you would expect he would have to make more than that.

    2. My guess is that it took $500K to get Claeys (the LB coach) to come to VT, and I assume that you cannot then pay the DC less than the LB coach. Just a guess on my part. But I agree with you that $600K, with what appears to be little experience, seems a bit much. However, Foster was really high on him. Let’s hope Foster is right. The players liking Hamilton also helps and perhaps kept the defense relatively intact (away from the portal).

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