Governors and Coaches
The Kansas City Star compiled information on the salary for state governors and for coaches of the state university systems. For most states, there is no contest: the coaches win hands down. For example, in Alabama Governor Bob Riley makes $113,000 a year; Nick Saban makes $4 million. Most states pay their governors ~$115,000 and their highest paid coaches ~$1 million.
Even states that don't have high-powered football teams pay their coaches better than their governors: in Delaware, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner makes $133,000 while Delaware State's head football coach Al Lavan makes $200,000. In Maine, Gov. John Baldacci makes $70,000, but Jack Cosgrove at Maine makes $135,000.
The closest salaries are in North Dakota (Gov. John Hoeven, $92,000; ND St. head coach Craig Bohl, $124,000) and South Dakota (Gov. Mike Rounds, $106,000; SD St. head coach John Stiegelmeier, $115,000).
Vermont and Alaska are special: they have no state-funded football teams. Even so, Vermont pays Vermont basketball coach Mike Lonergan $150,000 and Gov. Jim Douglas $144,000. As for Alaska?
Alaska is the only state that pays its governor more than any sports coach in the state: Gov. Sarah Palinmakes $125,000, while Alaska-Anchorage ice hockey head coach Dave Shyiak makes only $112,000.