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Wisconsin football coaches' salaries reach new territory this season

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University of Wisconsin football coaching salaries will exceed $10.44 million before postseason bonuses this year.

Coaches’ salaries were turned over to the State Journal via open records request after a handful of coach Paul Chryst’s assistants had changes to their compensation finalized July 1. The total figure is the highest for the football staff since the State Journal began tracking these numbers in 2004, eclipsing the previous high of just less than $10.04 million in 2019-20.

Chryst is set to be paid $5.25 million after receiving a raise before last season, and the State Journal reported earlier this year that defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard received a more than 50% raise this winter to bump his pay to $1.5 million. Offensive coordinator Bobby Engram will make $1 million in salary in his first year at UW.

Offensive line coach and run-game coordinator Bob Bostad is the highest paid non-coordinator at $625,000. Bostad’s base pay from the university is $500,000, but he signed an additional compensation agreement with the UW Foundation for $125,000 per year.

Bobby April III, the Badgers’ outside linebackers coach, also signed a deal with the UW Foundation that will pay him $100,000 over the next two seasons on top of his $350,000 salary. April interviewed for the defensive coordinator position at Michigan in February, then signed his new deal at UW a week later. April likely will be approached about defensive coordinator opportunities this offseason as he’s churned out NFL talent and shown to be a strong recruiter for UW.

Defensive line coach Ross Kolodziej received a raise of about 12% to $375,000, while cornerbacks coach Hank Poteat will be paid $215,000 and a $50,000 buyout was added to his contract. Former UW center and now running backs coach Al Johnson will make $275,000 as he replaces the late Gary Brown.

Chris Haering’s pay dipped after he was moved from special teams coordinator to tight ends coach. Chryst opted not to have a special teams coordinator and has split those duties between assistants. Haering will make $350,000 after making more than $400,000 last season.

Former tight ends coach Mickey Turner was made the program’s recruiting head this offseason, which resulted in a significant drop in pay. He’ll receive $150,000 after making almost $230,000 last season. However, Chryst gave Turner an additional $55,000 in bonus pool money on top of his allotted share of $22,500 after the Las Vegas Bowl last season. That move indicates that Turner’s shift to the recruiting department and the pay decrease that came with it was already in the works, and Chryst was doing what he could to make up that difference.

UW hasn’t announced Turner’s title, but his job acceptance letter denotes his business title as Director of Football Recruiting. UW’s former director of player personnel Saeed Khalif was paid $100,000 at UW before leaving for Michigan State and a starting salary of $150,000 in June 2021.


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