I’m throwing this out there as a free blog, because I think it contains information that people need to know. The dirty little secret of the basketball program is that it doesn’t receive enough support from the athletic department.
Seth Greenberg has had a lot of assistant coaches leave the program recently, and plenty of theories have been thrown out as to why. Each guy is his own unique story, but there is one number we can look at: coaching salary. I’m not going to throw a lot of numbers and information at you, but it will be enlightening.
Ryan Odom: Odom makes $120,000 per year at Charlotte. He made $110,000 per year in his last three seasons at Virginia Tech.
Stacey Palmore: Palmore makes $160,000 at Georgia. He made $106,000 his last two years at Tech. Before that, he made under $100,000.
Adrian Autry: Married with four kids, Autry made $47,000 per year for two years as Tech’s Director of Basketball Operations. As a full-time assistant in his final year, he made a paltry $95,000. He’s at Syracuse now, but originally left Tech for Dayton. Both schools are private schools, so I couldn’t find any salary information, but you can bet he originally left Tech for more money.
James Johnson: Johnson is Tech’s #1 assistant coach, and he made $135,000 in 2010-11. Before that, he was making just $110,000. That’s a nice raise, but UVA’s #2 and #3 assistants both make $150,000, while their #1 guy makes $160,000. Yep…UVA’s #2 and #3 guys make more than Virginia Tech’s #1 guy.
The amount of money that Virginia Tech offers assistant coaches makes it very difficult for them to compete against other schools. Tech’s lack of financial commitment to assistants means that Seth Greenberg can’t pursue his top targets most of the time. It also means that when the Hokies do get a good assistant coach on the staff, it’s only a matter of time before they leave for more money.
You can’t blame Stacey Palmore and Adrian Autry for leaving Tech. They are making a lot more money now. Ryan Odom is not making a huge about more, but he is making more. It’s a problem when mid-majors such as Dayton and Charlotte are paying more than Tech. It’s also a big problem when an ACC competitor such as UVA is completely blowing your salaries out of the water.
Update: reports indicate that Virginia Tech’s assistant coaches will now be paid the same as Clemson’s assistant coaches, following the news that Tech top assistant James Johnson is leaving for Clemson. Jim Weaver made the request to Charles Steger, who approved.