Do civil servants earn well in most of the US?

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In most US states, football and basketball coaches at public universities earn more than high-level civil servants like governors and school superintendents. Only one woman and a few non-coaches made the list of highest earners, with the top spot going to University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban, who earned $11.1 million in 2018.

When you think of high-level civil servants in your state, positions like governor, school district superintendent, or university president might come to mind. But in nearly every state, those jobs pay nowhere near as much as being the head coach of a football or basketball team at a large public university. In 2018, ESPN compared the salaries of each state’s highest-paid civil servant and found that in 39 of the 50 states, football and men’s basketball coaches topped the list. There was not a single governor who was the highest paid civil servant in his state.

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Of the 11 non-coaches on the list, eight worked in education, two were doctors, and one was the president of the state Alaska Natural Gas Development Corporation. Only one woman — medical school principal Mary D. Nettleman — made the list.
Eight basketball coaches and 31 football coaches made the big earners list. The salaries of the highest paid civil servant in each state ranged from $246,000 to $11.1 million dollars.
University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban topped the 2018 list with an annual salary of $11.1 million, followed by Clemson’s Dabo Swinney (football) and Kentucky’s John Calipari (basketball).

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