Paterno's salary released to public

Updated: May 29, 2009, 5:57 PM ET
Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State coach Joe Paterno is a millionaire.

Records released Friday by the university show the 82-year-old Hall of Famer is Penn State's highest-paid employee, making more than $1.03 million last year.

That includes his base salary plus any bonuses, but does not include compensation from outside the university that top coaches typically collect. Paterno's compensation from other sources is not a public record.

The records were released in compliance with a Pennsylvania Right-to-Know law that took effect in January.

Paterno's salary was once one of college football's most closely-guarded secrets until his base salary of roughly $500,000 was made public two years ago as part of an open records request of state retirement data initiated by the Patriot News of Harrisburg.

Paterno signed a three-year contract extension in December. He'll start his record 44th year as head coach this fall.

He's also the university's longest-tenured employee, having started as an assistant in 1950 before moving up to head coach in 1966.

LSU's Les Miles and Alabama's Nick Saban are considered to be among the highest-paid coaches in the country. Saban's total compensation package called for him to make roughly $3.8 million this year, a figure that includes his base salary from the university plus compensation for personal services from other sources.

Miles last year signed an extension with LSU that guaranteed him $1,000 more than any coach in the Southeastern Conference.

Miles and Saban coach at public universities, while Penn State is considered a "state-related" institution, though not fully public since only about 9 percent of its funding comes from state appropriations.

Penn State said Paterno's compensation does not come from state appropriations or student tuition since he works for athletics, a self-supporting department funded largely through ticket sales.

It's unclear what coaches such as Pete Carroll at Southern California and Charlie Weis at Notre Dame are paid because they work at private schools that don't have to disclose salaries.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE