Data shows men’s teams’ coaches are paid more than womens’

The debate about pay inequality based on gender is evident in UNA athletics.

There is an $11,933 difference in the average salaries for men’s and women’s teams head coaches at UNA, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics data sheet.

UNA men’s teams head coaches average $53,889 per year, while women’s teams head coaches average only $41,956.

Athletic Director Mark Linder said UNA wants to have its coaches’ salaries in the top three per position when compared to the other schools in the Gulf South Conference.

“We look at the averages of the conference to see if there’s a big disparity and if we’re underpaying,” Linder said. “We need, for the good of the university — regardless of who’s coaching — to get that salary so (the position) remains competitive.”

Years and level of coaching experience, as well as budget restraints at the university, are also considered when hiring a coach and setting the salary, Linder said.

The average salary for a men’s team head coach in the Gulf South Conference is $56, 314, and the average for a women’s team head coach is $41,586, according to the Department of Education.

Bobby Champagne, men’s basketball head coach, said salaries for some sports are generally higher than others, which could account for some of the difference.

“Football coaches, in general, make more than everybody else,” he said. “That kind of skews the numbers a little bit, because you wouldn’t have a women’s equivalence.”

Three of the seven women’s teams have female head coaches, and each of the men’s teams have male head coaches, according to, the UNA Athletics site.

Although most of the coaches are the same gender as their teams, Linder said the numbers are not representative of a gender wage gap.

“I think it’s more to do with the salary for that sport,” Linder said. “That’s what we try to look at. Whether we’re hiring a male or a female is indifferent.”

Champagne said disparities in men’s and women’s salaries for equal work are visible all throughout the country and are not unique to UNA athletics.

“On average, men make a little bit more than women do,” Champagne said. “The gap’s closed (some), but it hasn’t actually gotten to the point where it’s equal.”

Sophomore athlete Alexis Pester said she thinks the difference in salaries results from the lower revenue women’s teams generate.

“The men’s (basketball) team gets more attendance for each game, which means they sell more tickets and make more money,” she said. “And each time a team wins the conference or makes the NCAA tournament, the school gets money, which is probably given to that respective team.”

Pester said although she believes men’s teams coaches make more because their teams bring in more revenue, she also believes male coaches make more simply because of their gender.

Although there is almost a $12,000 difference between the average salaries of men’s and women’s teams head coaches, the average salary difference for assistant coaches is $547, with men’s teams assistant coaches averaging $19,928 and women’s teams assistant coaches averaging $20,475, according to the data.

Linder said most assistant coaches for the women’s teams are full-time, while some of the men’s team assistant coaches are only part time.

This accounts for the higher average female salary, he said.

“If we put every male team’s assistant coach on a full-time salary, I’m assuming those numbers would go up,” he said. “Some of the (male) assistant coaches are making (around) $6,000, so that lowers the average.”

Linder said when he first came to UNA, he and then-President William Cale attempted to get more full-time women’s assistant coaches, which he said would help even out any gender pay equity issues.

Sophomore basketball manager Shaquielle Shoulders said he does not see gender equity issues in the average coaching salaries at UNA or in the Gulf South Conference.

“You have to look at the results the coach gets,” he said. “How many games or conference championships are they winning? How long have they been at UNA? (Coaching salaries) should be based on conferences and championships won.”