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The Average Salary of a Golf Coach in Higher Education

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Salaries for college golf coaches can reach what years ago would have satisfied a head football coach, pushing well past six figures annually. As you might expect, you'll find the highest pay at the largest universities, particularly at the larger conferences. Some coaches at smaller schools might have twice the students to care for at half the pay.

About the Job

A college golf coach's role varies among programs. According to a "Golfweek" magazine survey of salaries in 2007, some schools--such as Purdue, with a $101,000 annual salary, and Washington State, with a $70,000 salary--pay one coach to lead the men's and women's programs. At Indiana, the coach also manages a course for his annual pay of just under $90,000.

Men's Coaches Make More

The "Golfweek" survey researched coaches' pay among the 100 top programs in 2007. The pay among the 77 men's schools who reported salaries averaged $70,592 annually. The average of the 86 reported salaries of women's coaches was lower, at $60,574.

At the Top

The highest-paid coaches in 2007 were Bruce Helper of Georgia Tech, who reported a base salary of $167,000, and Martha Richards of Texas, who earned a base of $140,000 that year. Other men's coaches topping $100,000 were at UNLV, with $150,674; Texas, with $120,000; Clemson, with $112,000; Georgia,with $110,000; Louisville, with $109,200; and Florida and Arkansas, both with $105,000. The women's coach at Auburn also joined those ranks, pulling in $107,102 that year.

Performance Doesn't Equal Higher Pay

Some schools perform well yet pay a coach well under par. For example, in the 2007 survey, the coach for Texas school Lamar led his team to a No. 3 national ranking, all for an annual pay of $56,652. Coastal Carolina finished ranked 11th nationally for a bargain--its coach earned $52,000 that year.

Resume and Salary Building

College coaches certainly build their worth by the performance of their teams. At the beginning of a career, though, certification helps to secure that first higher-paying job at the college level. The PGA of America not only certifies its professionals for public and private courses, but it also has certification for professionals coaching at the collegiate level.


Jeff Rogers has edited and written since 1987 for the Associated Press, United Press International and six newspapers including "The Dallas Morning News," "The Washington Times" and "Dallas Times Herald." A Charlotte native who holds a bachelor's degree in journalism (news-editorial) from the University of South Carolina, Rogers has also worked as a technology analyst, sales executive and professional golf caddy.

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