As the USF football program continues to increase its status on a national level, the salaries of its coaching staff are getting a boost as well.

ORACLE PHOTO/MIKE WILSON

ORACLE PHOTO/MIKE WILSON

The salary pool for coach Jim Leavitt’s assistant coaches increased to $1.35 million for the 2009-10 fiscal year — a raise of $100,000 from the previous year — according to numbers received from USF Athletics this week. The fiscal year began Wednesday.

The $100,000 yearly increase of the assistant coaches’ salary pool is a built-in stipulation of the seven-year, $12.6-million contract Leavitt signed in March of 2008, said USF Assistant Athletic Director Chris Freet. The stipulation applies to the next four seasons.

Freet said the money comes directly from USF Athletics’ revenue — including a contract with International Sports Properties, a sports media company and Under Armour — rather than other sources, such as state-allocated money.

“It’s not just like the football staff is going out there and giving raises during this economy,” Freet said. “This stuff has been in Leavitt’s contract since he signed it.”

Offensive coordinator Mike Canales, who was promoted from passing game coordinator this spring, received the largest increase and is the highest paid assistant. He will earn $200,000 this year, a raise of $50,000. Defensive coordinator Joe Tresey, who was hired this summer, will earn $190,000.

The salaries of the other returning assistants are increasing as well.

Defensive line coach Kevin Patrick’s salary will go from $70,000 to $120,000. Co-offensive line coaches Larry Scott and Mike Simmonds will both earn $120,000 — a combined raise of $30,000. Running backs coach Carl Franks’ salary will increase from $150,000 to $170,000, and special teams coach John Hendrick will receive a $10,000 raise for a total of $130,000.

The remaining pool money covers the two other assistants Leavitt hired this spring and $60,000 in nominal raises for non-coaching football staff. New co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach David Blackwell will make $160,000 and new wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan will earn $80,000.

“From (Leavitt’s) standpoint this is all about being able to build his program and how he can keep good coaches and attract good coaches and that kind of deal,” Freet said.

The Bulls lost both coordinators last season. Former offensive coordinator Greg Gregory left to take on the same role at South Alabama after being relieved of his duties in the spring, and former defensive coordinator Wally Burnham took a defensive coordinator job at Iowa State.

USF has made four consecutive bowl appearances, which ties for the second longest streak among teams in the Big East. West Virginia is first with seven straight bowl games, while Rutgers has made it to four consecutive bowls as well.

-Kerry Klecic

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