Salary: $2,000,000 Record: 15-11 (two seasons). In his first season, Freeze ended a two-year postseason absence by taking the Rebels to the Compass Bowl and received an extension in Dec. 2012 that gave him a $500,000 raise. He followed it up with a surprising 2013 recruiting class that ranked 10th nationally, won eight games in '13 and went to the Music City Bowl and delivered another top-20 crop of recruits. To take the next step in the rugged SEC West is daunting, but Freeze clearly has Ole Miss on the right trajectory.
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Ken Niumatalolo, Navy
Salary: $1,514,240 Record: 49-30 (seven season). The top-paid service-academy coach -- Air Force's Troy Calhoun is second at $882,000 -- Niumatalolo has beaten Army every season, topped Notre Dame in consecutive years ('09 and '10) for the first time since the 1960s and claimed the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy three times (2008, '09 and '12). In all, the Midshipmen have produced eight or more wins in five of Niumatalolo's six full seasons, which averages out to $189,280 per victory.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY SportsTommy Gilligan
Frank Solich, Ohio
Salary: $502,400 Record: 66-50 (nine seasons). He's well compensated among MAC coaches, ranking as the conference's highest-paid ahead of Toledo's Matt Campbell ($455,000) and Solich makes more than he did with the $321,600 annual base he was receiving in Nebraska before his firing. But as far as return on investment, the Bobcats are getting their money's worth. Ohio went to two bowl games in its history before Solich's arrival and he's gone to six postseason games, including each of past five seasons.
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George O'Leary, UCF
Salary: $2,000,000-plus Record: 72-56 (10 seasons). He received a four-year extension after a 12-win season that ended with the Fiesta Bowl victory over Baylor, pushing O'Leary up from his previous salary of $1.5 million. Through three different conferences (MAC, C-USA and AAC), O'Leary has produced four double-digit victory seasons and won four league titles. When it comes to his AAC contemporaries, he's delivering well above his pay rate, trailing Cincinnati's Tommy Tuberville ($3 million) and is drawing equal with SMU's June Jones. Tuberville last won a conference championship in '05 at Auburn and Jones has yet to win more than eight games in a season in Dallas.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Salary: $2,221,153 Record: 55-46 (eight seasons). A former Northwestern linebacker and two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Fitzgerald has produced five bowl berths and a 10-win season -- tying for the most wins in school history. He's coming off his worst season in Evansville at 5-7 and 1-7 in the Big Ten and never finished higher than third in the league or Legends Division standings, but nonetheless, Fitzgerald is already the all-time winningest coach in the program's history with 55 victories.
Byron Hetzler-USA TODAY SportsByron Hetzler
Mike Riley, Oregon State
Salary: $1,417,843 Record: 88-73 (13 seasons). A Corvallis product, whose father coached under Dee Andros, Riley is giving the Beavers a hometown discount. He's the lowest-paid coach in the Pac-12 (Stanford, as a private school, doesn't have to release the financial details of David Shaw's contract), making nearly $1 million less than Colorado's Mike MacIntyre and less than in-state rival Oregon's Mark Helfrich ($1,800,000), yet Riley has delivered eight bowl berths in the last 11 seasons.
James Snook-USA TODAY SportsJames Snook
Gary Pinkel, Missouri
Salary: $3,100,000 Record: 102-63 (13 seasons). After winning the SEC East last season, Pinkel received an extension through 2020 that pushed his pay from $2.8 million to $3.1. That marked the fourth time he'd won a division crown in seven seasons (three in the Big 12 North). Just once in the last nine years has he failed to take the Tigers to a bowl game and he's won at least eight games seven times in that span. With 102 wins, Pinkel is already the winningest coach in the program's history.
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David Cutcliffe, Duke
Salary: $1,792,285 Record: 31-44 (six seasons). Locked up through June 2019 after signing an extension in '12, Cutcliffe is the ACC's lowest-paid coach among reported salaries. But he's led the Blue Devils to the first Coastal Division title in '13, the only 10-win season in school history and the program's highest ranking (No. 22) in 29 years. A doormat for much of its recent ACC existence, Cutcliffe has Duke looking like a consistent postseason threat, something that seemed laughable when he arrived.
Ellen Ozier-USA TODAY SportsEllen Ozier
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Salary: $1,457,284 Record: 37-15 (four seasons). While Kelly has taken the Fighting Irish to a national championship game and still pulled under $2 million per season -- according to tax returns -- the school has paid $2,054,744 to former coach Charlie Weis as part of the buyout of the extension he signed in '09. It's still likely Kelly made more than the reported sum considering he's at a private school, which isn't required to make employment contracts public (for instance, the '12 federal returns show more than $600,000 in bonuses paid to the coach). Regardless, in each of Kelly's four seasons he's won at least eight games, including a combined 21 the past two years.
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Art Briles, Baylor
Salary: $4,000,000-plus Record: 44-32 (six seasons). On the heels of a Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl berth -- the first at a top-tier bowl for the Bears in the BCS era -- Briles joined Texas' Charlie Strong ($5 million) and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops (an expected $5 million-plus in his new deal) as the only Big 12 coaches pulling down more than $4 million a season. That figure would seem to put Briles out of the "bargain" realm, but Briles took a team that had won more than four games just once in the 12 years before his arrival and has produced an average of nine wins the past three seasons and a Heisman Trophy winner. Plus, the Bears now have a new $260 million home, McLane Stadium, opening this fall.