One of the biggest reasons Bret Bielema gave for leaving Wisconsin and heading for Razorbacks country was that Wisconsin wasn't paying its assistants enough to keep them around long enough to prevent massive changes every season.
Consider message received, as we reported earlier this year that UW football assistant salaries took a huge jump. Well, earlier today it became clear that Wisconsin is becoming very competitive inside the Big Ten. Just how competitive?
According to the ESPN.com report offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda both rank 8th in salary amongst the coordinators in the Big Ten, earning $480,000 this season. That's a massive jump from the fact that UW ranked 2nd to last in coordinator salaries just last season.
On the whole Wisconsin had the biggest increase in salary amongst it's assistants with a jump of $558,000 for this season.
Wisconsin may have been able to afford this increase thanks to the reduction in head coach salary as coach Andersen is making about $800,000 less this season than Bielema was making. However, he's not starving for cash either, raking in $1.8 million on his own.
The topic of salaries for assistant coaches in the Big Ten has been a hot button issue over the past year or so, especially with the insane increases throughout the south. It's been hard to keep pace for anyone in the Big Ten.
Leading the way in salary for Big Ten coordinators is Michigan's Greg Mattison, who is earning $750,000 for this season – a pittance compared to the million dollars plus salaries that dot the SEC and some of the ACC.
However, as a fan you have to be encouraged that Wisconsin and the Big Ten in general is at least willing to step up to the plate and get in the game. Assistant coaches are worth their weight in gold in the world of college football both on the field and in recruiting and keeping the best of both is paramount in today's landscape.