Whether fans believe the Atlantic Coast Conference is the top football conference in the country or not, the ACC is clearly No. 1 in something – athletic director salaries.
According to a survey released this week from AthleticDirectorU.com, in conjunction with USA Today and the law firm Spencer Fane, the ACC pays its athletic directors more than any other conference. The ACC also possesses the most ADs making more than $1 million annually.
Louisville’s Tom Jurich leads the way among all athletic directors, and it’s not even close. He makes about $2.76 million per year, which is nearly twice as much as any other AD. Duke’s Kevin White is second, raking in approximately $1.45 million per year.
With a $1.1 million salary, Wake Forest’s Ron Wellman is fourth nationally in athletic director base salary, giving the ACC three of the top four in that category. Including bonuses, Jurich and White are still first and second in the country, respectively, but Wellman drops to 12th. Including maximum bonus, Virginia Tech’s Whit Babcock also makes north of $1 million per year.
The Daily Press explained Friday that the main reason the ACC pays its athletic directors the most despite falling behind the SEC and Big 10 in per-school revenue sharing is because of experience and age. All four athletic directors in the ACC making more than $1 million are in their 60’s and have held their jobs for at least nine years.
In total, six of the 15 ACC athletic directors are 60 or older, and the league commissioner John Swofford is 68.
Including Notre Dame, the ACC pays an average of about $1.089 million to its ADs. But that doesn’t include Boston College, Pittsburgh, Miami or Syracuse. While BC and Pitt just hired new athletic directors and their pay information wasn’t available, Miami and Syracuse are private schools and don’t have to disclose the incomes of their employees.
The SEC ranked second in average athletic director pay at $892,902.