Turner contract

Arkansas’ new tight ends coach Morgan Turner is working on a two-year contract worth $325,000 per year.

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Matt, any idea what he made at Stanford?

No, and there is probably no way to know because it is a private school. I would be surprised if Stanford is paying that kind of money to a tight ends coach, though.

David Shaw was making $8.5 million as Stanford HC. There is no shortage of cash in Palo Alto. And given the cost of living in Silicon Valley, he’ll get immensely more bang for the buck in NWA if the salaries are anywhere close.

Stanford doesn’t release salaries, but there is somewhat of a clue in its annual report to the federal government. SU reports that it has 35 assistant coaches in men’s sports whose average salary was around $196,000. In the same report, UA only has 19 assistants in men’s sports (Stanford has a lot more sports than we do) with an average salary of $379,363. Both schools have the full allotment of 10 football assistants, so our average pay is skewed upwards because more than half of our full-time assistants coach FB. I would not think the assistant men’s volleyball coach at Stanford is paid anywhere near what Turner was making.

Total athletic spending is pretty comparable, by the way. Stanford reported $127 million in 2020-21, we reported $132 million.

Don’t want to purport any knowledge beyond some recollections of reading articles, but not sure, based on my understanding, that comparing total expenses between Stanford and Arkansas are quite as apples to apples as with some other schools. I think Stanford routinely ranks highly in the total sports trophy standings, partially because they field more teams in more sports than many schools. More sports likely leads to more expense, more staff, more scholarships etc.

My point on total expenses is that, despite the Pac-12 media deals being a fraction of the SEC and Big Ten, Stanford still manages to come up with a decent SEC-level of funding for athletics. Not enough that they weren’t threatening to cut sports at the height of the pandemic. Yes they have more sports, which they have to come up with money to fund. One way they do that is with endowments. Troy Taylor is not just the new HC, he is the Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football. Which means Mr. Freeman gave a few million to the university that pays the head coach (quite well) in perpetuity.

Freeman is a former Stanford football player (benchwarmer, apparently) who got rich in investment banking. I found an estimated net worth of $217 million for him; I suspect that’s quite low. In addition to endowing the HC job, he and his business partner (also a Stanford grad) donated $50 million in 1983 to Stanford’s International Initiative. Given the number of Stanford alums who have gotten stoopid rich, there’s more where he came from. Those alums came up with money to keep those sports from being dropped during the pandemic, for one thing.

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