Deadspin provides this map of the USA noting, state by state, the highest paid public employee in each locale. In 42 states, the highest paid public employee is a sports coach.
However, should you look to merely base salaries, you might be confused.
Apparently, should you wish to peruse public databases, the numbers would not add up as most coaches “compensation” includes more than just base salary:
Far exceeding these base salaries is the “additional compensation” that almost all of these coaches receive, which is tied to media appearances, apparel contracts, and fundraising. While this compensation does not come directly from the state fund it is guaranteed in the coaches’ contracts; if revenue falls short, the school—and thus the state—is on the hook to cover the difference. Plus, even it doesn’t come directly from taxpayers, this compensation is still problematic for all the reasons listed above.Beyond salary and additional compensation, coaches earn money from bonus incentives tied primarily to the team’s performance. This analysis ignored those bonuses and focused on guaranteed money, as it’s impossible to guess at whether a coach will hit his benchmarks. And we’re not even touching the ridiculous amounts of money coaches can get if they’re fired before their contract ends.
Read more at Deadspin.