High school football coaches haven't historically gone into their sport for the money, but that may start to change if current salary trends continue. In Alabama, for example, the salaries for head football coaches have soared past high school teachers, with many hitting $120,00 or more.
Meanwhile, those coaches are having their teaching duties rolled back, allowing them to focus full-time on football, according to a report from AL.com. The culture change isn't being welcomed by everyone -- even some coaches earning those big salaries think things are getting out of control.
"It has kind of been getting outrageous," said Josh Niblett, the head football coach at Hoover High School, to AL.com. "It started off with the money college coaches were making, but I think if you go to other states like Texas or Georgia you will find [high school] guys making a lot more than $125,000.
"The numbers those guys are making -- and not teaching -- are unbelievable."
Niblett is benefitting from that uptick in spending: after getting a 10,500 dollar raise earlier this month, he is now making $125,000 a year -- tops in the state of Alabama. But he's also the fourth coach to hold the "highest-paid" title in the past 10 months, which shows just how quickly the spending is on the rise. All four of those coaches currently have salaries of $120,000 or more, and nine in Alabama earn at least six figures.
Contrast that with 2004, when the highest-paid coach in the state earned $86,180. That's a 45 percent increase in salary over a 10-year span.
The uptick in salary does come with increased workload, though. Niblett is now signed to a 240-day work contract, rather than his old 208-day contract. This increases his summer workload, formalizing his summer coaching duties. The school also expects him to be highly invested in the development of student-athletes -- not just as football players, but as people.
Still, the message of a high salary is clear: with great earnings come great expectations. And those expectations relate first and foremost to the football field.