Mario Cristobal 2022 top 10 highest paid college football coaches

Jul 21, 2022; Charlotte, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 21, 2022; Charlotte, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Miami football program hired Mario Cristobal as head coach in December the Hurricanes made an unprecedented financial commitment to him and the staff. Cristobal is earning a Miami record $8 million in 2022. According to 247 Sports, Cristobal is the 10th highest paid head coach in college football in 2022.

Dabo Swinney of Clemson, the ninth highest paid head coach nationally, is the only head coach in the ACC who earns more than Cristobal at $8.3 million per year. Miami paid Oregon a $9 million buyout to bring Mario Cristobal home as head coach. Kirby Smart of Georgia is the highest-paid head coach at $10.25 million annually.

Oregon hired former Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning to replace Cristobal. Brian Kelly at LSU who is tied for fourth earning $9.5 million annually and Lincoln Riley at USC who is second at $10 million per year are the other head coaches in new destinations ranked in salary. Cristobal was also able to hire an elite coaching staff.

Cristobal and his staff have been able to upgrade the Miami football roster. Miami added 11 transfers for 2022 and signed the 16th best recruiting class according to the 247 Sports composite rankings. When Cristobal was hired the 2022 Miami recruiting class ranked in the 70s.

"10. MARIO CRISTOBAL, MIAMI2022 compensation: $8 millionThe latest: Mario Cristobal is set to earn $8 million this season during his first campaign with the Hurricanes, who paid his buyout at Oregon before signing him to a $80 million, long-term deal in December. Cristobal was the only target for the ACC program, who fired Manny Diaz to get him.Cristobal has the highest assistant coaching pool in the ACC for salary, and he added several elite-level coaches to his staff in the offseason, including former Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, among others.“Championship culture” is what Cristobal is hoping to establish early with the Hurricanes, and they’ve made a substantial investment in his services."

In addition to Gattis, Cristobal hired 40-year college assistant coaches Kevin Steele and Charlie Strong as the co-defensive coordinators. Steele and Strong both have experience as college head coaches and in the NFL as assistants. Miami will have two games this season versus top 10 paid head coaches.

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The Hurricanes play on September 17 at Texas A&M and Jimbo Fisher who at $9 million per year is the eighth highest paid head coach. Miami will play on November 19 at Clemson and Swinney. Cristobal led Oregon to a win at Ohio State last season. Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day is tied for fourth at $9.5 million annually.