It’s probably an understatement to say it surprised people when Kansas native, Kansas State alumnus and longtime Wildcats assistant coach Joe Bob Clements left after an 11-2 season for a similar job at Big 12 foe Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys had dismissed defensive coordinator Bill Young and promoted co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Glenn Spencer. Young had also coached defensive ends, and Oklahoma State filled the opening with Clements, who mentored All-Big 12 selections Meshak Williams and Adam Davis with the Wildcats this season.
Clements referred to the move as a personal one, but after four straight years under head coach Bill Snyder and 11 years total as a Kansas State coach, many wonder what the rationale is for the change, which on the surface looks like a lateral one.
With the money of T. Boone Pickens backing the Oklahoma State football program, an obvious possible motive is money.
Since assistant coaches’ responsibilities and titles vary from program to program, making apples-to-apples comparisons is unlikely, but here is what I found.
According to the article by the Tulsa World, Cowboys coaches have seen astronomical increases recently. The 2012 article showed that after Oklahoma State’s banner season in 2011, in which they went 12-1, won the Big 12 championship and finished the year ranked No. 3, none of the football staff’s 10 coaches got less than a $30,000 raise.
Head coach Mike Gundy’s salary went from $2.1 million to $3.275 million, and offensive coordinator Todd Monken earned a 50 percent increase, from $400,000 to $600,000. Co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Glenn Spencer’s salary bumped up from $315,000 to $360,000. Cornerbacks coach Jason Jones saw his pay go from $210,000 to $240,000. The list continues.
Obviously, offense has been the bread and butter of Oklahoma State. If the defense made similarly impressive strides, one would expect that Pickens would be only too happy to handsomely reward defensive coaches just the way he rewarded offensive ones after the success in 2011.
All that said, what Clements made at Kansas State was nothing to sneeze at. Several papers have reported that he made $255,000 outside of bonuses this season, which was his first as run game coordinator in addition to defensive ends coach.
According to this assistant coach salary data from 2010, Clements made $188,000 as the defensive ends coach two years ago, before taking on additional responsibilities of run game coordinator, which he did in 2012.
In 2010, Oklahoma State’s cornerbacks coach Jason Jones made $190,000. The Cowboys’ linebackers coach Glenn Spencer – not yet a co-defensive coordinator, according to the description in his bio – made $250,000 that year.
Whatever the reason for Clements’ change in location, he will certainly be missed by Kansas State and appreciated by Oklahoma State.