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Insider

Can low-cost coaches win?

4d

Nick Saban makes a little more than $7 million a year, and most everyone associated with college football agrees that’s still a relatively practical deal for Alabama. Saban has enough trophies and rings to justify that he’s worth every penny, if not more.

Alas, there are only so many Sabans and only so much money to go around. What if you are the athletic director at a Power 5 school that has less than half that to spend on a coach? Is it still possible to win?

That’s certainly the hope at Kansas, where first-year coach David Beaty is set to make a base of $800,000 a year as he takes over a program that is 12-48 and on its third head coach since 2010.

Incentives for Big 12 wins ($25,000 per victory) and bowl eligibility ($100,000) would push Beaty’s total toward or above $1 million, but the point is the same. Can a major-conference program progress and be competitive without hiring the next big-name, high-dollar coaching free agent?

ADs and coaches agree