University of South Carolina trustees approved pay raises for the Gamecock football staff Thursday that will send head coach Steve Spurrier's salary to $4 million a year.
Spurrier's contract also was extended one year and will end in 2018.
The 68-year-old coach earned $3.3 million this past season -- the Gamecocks' third straight with 11 wins.
His new salary puts Spurrier into the nation's top 10 highest-paid coaches. He ranked 12th last season. Spurrier is 33-6 in the last three seasons and 77-39 overall at the school. He is USC's winningest coach.
In the new agreement, Spurrier also will become a special assistant to the USC's president and athletics director after he steps down as coach.
Athletics director Ray Tanner said talk about becoming a special assistant came during the run up to the Capital One Bowl when Spurrier told his boss that he planned to remain in Columbia after he left coaching.
Spurrier could help with fundraising taking donors to lunch or out for a round of golf, Tanner said.
The post-coaching plan in the contract is not an exit strategy for Spurrier, who will be 73 when his current contract ends, Tanner said. The athletics director hopes this is not the football coach's least contract with USC.
"Age is just a number," Tanner said. "I hope he coaches many, many years."
Spurrier's nine-coach staff will earn $3.3 million next year, up from from $2.74 million.
Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward received a $100,000 boost to $750,000 and an extension that takes his contract through 2017. Shawn Elliott, co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, got a $105,000 raise to $430,000.
Quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus received a $100,000 raise to $275,000 -- his first salary increase in three seasons. He did not receive raises after a nuisance arrest in Greenville and his involvement in an NCAA investigation into boosters who provided USC recruits with extra benefits.
But on his radio show Wednesday he said athletics director Ray “Tanner has done a super job of (saying), ‘Hey, what’s right and how can we aligned in the SEC competitive wise with coaches salaries?’ The president and from what I am hearing the Board of Trustees think that keeps us where we should be."
The Gamecocks finished the season ranked No. 4 in the country, the highest ranking in school history.
“I guess everybody is pretty fired up and thrilled with what happened,” Spurrier said on “Carolina Calls.” “It was a fun year. I tell you what, our players found a way to win all these games. We didn’t clobber a lot of people. These guys know how to play in the fourth quarter.”
Spurrier is the third longest-tenured coach the SEC at one school behind Georgia’s Mark Richt and Missouri’s Gary Pinkel, who joined their schools in 2001. Counting Spurrier’s 12 seasons at Florida, he has coached in the league 21 seasons.
He will remain the fifth-highest paid coach in SEC. Alabama’s Nick Saban is the nation’s highest paid at $5.4 million per year, followed by: Arkansas’ Bret Bielema ($5.16 million); Texas’ Charlie Strong, a former USC assistant, ($5 million); and Tennessee’s Butch Jones ($4.86). LSU coach Les Miles is seventh at $4.3 million.
The Gamecocks’ nine-man coaching staff, which has a chance to remain unchanged in the offseason for the first time in Spurrier’s nine-year tenure, currently is the ninth-highest paid group in the SEC.
Even with the raises approved Thursday, the staff won’t come close to LSU’s SEC lead of $4.57 million per year for assistant coaches. The Gamecocks staff would rank fifth in the conference based on 2013 salaries.
“We do have an outstanding staff, probably don’t get the recognition they deserve,” Spurrier said. “This is an excellent staff, and they need to be paid among the best in the SEC.”
Once again Wednesday night, Spurrier addressed the issue of how long he would coach, referencing 66-year-old Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski as an example of a coach continuing to win at close to 70 years old.
“If you continue doing what you did in your 50s, then the age factor doesn’t kick in,” Spurrier said. “It doesn’t kick in until you don’t know what you are doing. Hopefully, I still know what is happening out there.”
Spurrier and many of the team assistant coaches and starters from the 2013 team will be recognized at halftime of Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. basketball game at Colonial Life Arena. Quarterback Connor Shaw, who will be playing in an all-star game on Saturday, recorded a video message that will be played at halftime, Spurrier said.
Spurrier received a two-year extension but no raise last year.
“I'm already embarrassed by how much I make,” he told The State at the time. “I tell some people that and they say, ‘You don't need to be embarrassed if you look around and see what some of those other coaches are making,’ but I am. I don't need to make any more.”
USC’S CURRENT FOOTBALL STAFF
New 2014 salaries
Steve Spurrier (head coach) -- $4 million ($3.3 million last year)
Deke Adams (defensive line) -- $300,000 ($225,000)
Kirk Botkin (linebackers/spurs) – $300,000 ($225,000)
Grady Brown (assistant special teams coordinator/secondary) -- $250,000 ($180,000)
Shawn Elliott (co-offensive coordinator/offensive line) -- $430,000 ($325,000)
G.A. Mangus (quarterbacks) -- $275,000 ($175,000)
Joe Robinson (special teams coordinator) -- $350,000 ($325,000)
Everette Sands (running backs) -- $250,000 ($215,000)
Steve Spurrier Jr. (co-offensive coordinator/recruiting coordinator/wide receivers) -- $380,000 ($325,000)
Lorenzo Ward (defensive coordinator) -- $750,000 ($650,000)