WSU football $taff $alaries add up

WASHINGTON STATE athletic director Bill Moos constantly emphasizes that the price of success is not cheap, and Moos backed up his words by approving the highest assistant coach's salary in school history for new football defensive coordinator and secondary coach Mike Breske.

Breske will be paid $325,000 next season, the Cougars announced. Breske's predecessor, Chris Ball, previously was the highest-paid assistant coach in school history at $170,050.

Leach, who became the highest-paid employee in WSU history when he was hired last month, makes $2.25 million a year (excluding bonuses).

Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian, like Leach, makes $2.25 million next season.

Leach's nine full-time assistant coaches make a total of $1.8 million. That is also a school record, but it's almost $1 million less than Washington will pays its assistants next year after increasing their 2011 outlay by approximately $500,000. The cost of living in Pullman, however, is substantially less than in Seattle.

Moos has made a concerted effort to increase coaches salaries at WSU. College coaching salaries have risen dramatically in recent years.

Breske, a college defensive coordinator since 1983, is making more than any WSU head coach earned before Mike Price's annual compensation was bumped from $253,000 to $429,000 after the Cougars played in the 1998 Rose Bowl.

Paul Wulff was paid $600,000 a year. WSU's nine full-time football assistants, none of whom were retained by Leach, will be paid approximately $1.225 million on contracts that run through March.

At least two of WSU's new coaches, assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Eric Russell and linebackers coach Jeff Choate, accepted pay cuts to come to Washington State.

Russell and Choate, who both grew up in nearby St. Maries, Idaho, said their desire to eventually become head coaches affected their decisions. Russell, who was special teams and tight ends coach at Tennessee, made $250,000 last year and was due to make $275,000 next season. He now makes $225,000.

Choate, who was the special teams and nickel defense coach at Boise State, was set to make $235,450 next season with the Broncos. He's making $210,000 at WSU. Choate interviewed for the head coaching job at Eastern Illinois last month.

Offensive line coach Clay McGuire and running backs coach Jim Mastro are set to earn $200,000. Other salaries: Joe Salave's, defensive line, $175,000; Dennis Simmons, outside receivers, $160,000; Paul Volero, outside linebackers, $165,000; Eric Morris, inside receivers, $150,000.

All contracts are for one year – standard for college assistants – and are believed to run through March 2013. WSU athletics receives little state funding.

The football coaches salaries budget does not involve chief of staff/recruiting coordinator Dave Emerick ($150,000), director of operations Antonio Huffman ($80,000) or strength and conditioning coaches. Boston College football strength and conditioning coach Jason Loscalzo has been reported to be coming to WSU though no official announcement has been made.

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