University of Wisconsin outside linebackers coach Tim Tibesar was given the biggest bump in salary among Badgers football assistants this offseason, according to numbers obtained by the State Journal.
Tibesar is now pegged to make an annual salary of $340,000 — an increase of $90,000 from his original compensation package signed last year.
He was a serious candidate for a promotion to defensive coordinator after Dave Aranda left the Badgers for LSU in January and interviewed for the job, per a source. UW opted to hire former Southern California defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox for the position instead.
The other assistants who joined the Badgers last year were allocated between $15,000 and $40,000 more in annual salary than their original compensation packages indicated.
New salary allocations for those assistant coaches are as follows: Offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph, $600,000; wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore, $290,000; special teams coach Chris Haering, $290,000; defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield, $255,000; running backs coach John Settle, $245,000; and tight ends coach Mickey Turner, $140,000.
New defensive backs coach Jim Leonhard saw his salary slightly increase from $225,000 to $228,600 after the reallocation.
“(UW athletic director) Barry (Alvarez) increased the pool for the assistant coaches in football, gave it to (UW coach) Paul (Chryst) to decide how best to divvy it up — both to reward performance and to keep people on the staff that people were making inquiries about,” UW deputy athletic director Walter Dickey said. "And we ended up losing a couple people anyway."
Along with Aranda, who made $520,000 in his final year with the Badgers and will earn between $1.2 and $1.3 million annually on a three-year contract with LSU, per reports, UW also lost defensive backs coach Daronte Jones to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.
UW’s financial allocation for assistant football coaches increased by nearly $200,000 from last year and is now up almost $350,000 from the university’s 2015 fiscal year.
Per documents received by the State Journal via open records requests, the Badgers’ new assistant coach payroll of $2,913,600 would have still ranked just ninth in the 2014-15 school year among the 12 Big Ten teams that are required to release such numbers.
The compensation package that Wilcox signed when hired by UW earlier this year was a two-year, $1.45 million deal that will pay him $500,000 in his first year with the Badgers and $950,000 in the second.
The major increase from Year 1 to Year 2 makes it appear likely UW will look to continue increasing salaries for assistant coaches in the coming years, although Dickey said he doesn’t foresee the Badgers matching college football’s biggest-spending programs in this area.