Spencer Fane LLP attorneys Bob Lattinville and Roger Denny were recently published in USA Today as instrumental contributors to the publication’s annual release of top collegiate head football coach and assistant coach salaries across all Division I conferences. USA Today collaborates with the Spencer Fane sports practice duo to prepare the compensation survey, which you can read here.
Each year, Lattinville and Denny update and refine an independent database of coaching and athletic executive compensation, overlaying the data with both historic and current performance metrics, as well as the athletic department’s financial indicators. This reveals a deeper view of how coaching and athletic executive decisions – and their salaries – have shaped the financial condition and win-loss columns of these institutions. This refined understanding of the relationship between salary, department economics and performance provides their clients a competitive advantage as they vet, select and negotiate compensation of top coaching candidates.
Lattinville and Denny are trusted by athletic directors, athletic departments and coaches throughout the sports industry, providing trusted guidance in successfully navigating complex business, legal and regulatory issues associated with crucial hiring decisions.
“The sports industry is rife with competition. Far too many – both coaches and administrators – get caught up in the salary game without the information and understanding they need to avoid getting swept up into costly mistakes,” said Lattinville. “We seek to equip our clients not only with raw salary data, but with a deeper analysis of the trends and performance expectations behind those numbers. We provide the counsel they need to make the smartest and most successful hiring decisions possible.”
The list comes at a critical juncture as the end-of-the-season coaching carousel turns again and schools and institutions evaluate the past season to make difficult decisions regarding extending or terminating current coaching contracts. While a program’s stakeholders are reluctant to continue paying a high salary to an under-performing coach, it can be equally costly to pay dead money (payments made to coaches no longer employed by universities) or incur the cost of hiring and transitioning a new coach and staff.
“Too often, compensation is set in consideration of program expectations rather than economic position or competitive circumstances,” said Denny. “As a result, many compensation packages for new coaches equal or exceed that of their predecessor, causing compensation expenses to increase during a period in which revenue may be diminishing as result of the competitive circumstances giving rise to the transition.”
Lattinville and Denny focus on helping accurately evaluate a coach’s true impact on an athletic program, providing the intel and analysis needed to make the most prudent decisions possible.