CFL Coaching Turnover/Salary Compared to NFL

Here is the link to an interesting article by Perry Lefko today on about the head coaching turnover in the CFL (i.e. seven of eight teams in 2007 and 2008) and a comparison of the workload and range of salaries for head coaches, offensive and defensive coordinators and position coaches in the CFL vis-a-vis their counterparts in the NFL. The article includes excerpts of an interview Lefko had with former Ticat head coach Charlie Taaffe on this topic.

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It’s nice to get an idea of what coaches are paid

This article would be a good one to refer ‘average joes’ to
to put some reality to their misconceptions about salaries

The ones who don’t really follow sports but definitely do hear about
some of the star player’s multi-million dollar multi-year salaries

The $70,000-$90,000 position coach jobs

and the $100,000-$125,000 co-ordinator jobs

aren’t too high to imagine for many working people.

When you factor in the few short years
a lifer coach might get as a Head Coach.

Even the $200,000–$400,000 for head coach,
although it is a nice piece of change,

doesn’t go very far towards funding
an ex-head coach’s retirement years

especially when CFL coaches
don’t have a retirement plan .

The gap in pay levels between the NFL and the CFL is huge, and growing. This is true among coaches as well as for players.

Years ago, CFL players earned as much or even more than their NFL counterparts. That's why we were able to lure some great players to the CFL then... I'm talking about the 1950s and into the 60s. It continued occasionally even into the 1970s and further, with players like Terry Metcalf coming to Toronto, and signings like Johnny Rodgers and even Rocket Ishmael. That kind of thing doesn't happen anymore, and no doubt never will, given the disparity in league revenues, i.e. TV money.

The same kind of pattern exists with respect to coaches. Once upon a time, CFL head coaches could go down to the US and become NFL head coaches directly. Bud Grant (Winnipeg-Minnesota), Marv Levy (Montreal-Buffalo), and Jerry Williams (Calgary- Philadelphia-Hamilton) come to mind. Nowadays, CFL head coaches leave to take jobs as co-ordinators in US universities, like Kent Austin did and Charlie Taaffe almost did.

In light of the economics, it would be surprsing to me to see a former NFL HC like Jim Fassell take the HC job in Toronto. I'd even be surprised to see Tom Clements do it... the money just isn't comparable.

Besides, HC experience in the CFL doesn't lead to opportunities at the same level in the NFL any more. If you're a co-ordinator in the NFL now, you may as well stay there and keep earning the bigger salary plus benefits rather than come to the CFL for less pay, no pension and a path to promotion that is less certain and less visible.

The coaches should have and need a pension plan.

I read in one of Marty York's recent articles, he stated B.C. Lion D-C Mike Benevedes starts his work day at 3am & works until 7pm. Staggering the amount of dedication these men have for really what is a small paycheque for the hours the put in.