Who Makes What in the VT Athletic Department

Who's the highest paid employee in the Virginia Tech athletic department? Frank Beamer, of course, at about $2 million per year. But who's got the highest salary? That's a different question, and via the magic of a database on the Collegiate Times web site, we can find out who makes what in the VT Athletic Department.

The CT has a database of Virginia Public University Salaries, and you can search and sort any public university in the state -- or all of them -- by name, department, and year (2007-2009).

(Note: In addition to 11 state schools that you would expect in the database, Ohio State University -- THE Ohio State University -- is included in the database. That must have something to do with an OSU satellite campus in the state of Virginia, but I wasn't able to find out any information in 2 minute of Googling and poking around. Maybe it's just there for comparison purposes.)

Here's a direct link to the VT salaries database for 2009. The database only lists salaries, not total compensation, so what you see in the database isn't necessarily someone's total pay. Frank Beamer, for instance, is listed at $272,328 salary, but his total pay (about $2 million) is over seven times that. Bonuses are not included in the listing, and as you know from following VT football in recent years, when the football team makes a bowl game, bonuses flow all over the place, almost half a million dollars' worth, even down to equipment manager Lester Karlin.

The highest salaried employee at Virginia Tech is president Charles Steger, of course, at a cool $457,040. Here at TechSideline.com, though, we're not interested in what the academicians make. We want to know about the athletic department. Type "Athletic" in the Department search box, and you get these results.

Here are the top twenty:

Top 20 Salaries in the Virginia Tech
Athletic Department (2009)
Rank Name Department Salary
1 Robert E. Foster Football $378,000
2 James C. Weaver Admin $362,472
3 Franklin M. Beamer Football $272,328
4 Bryan W. Stinespring Football $262,198
5 William T. Hite Football $242,336
6 James C. Cavanaugh Football $212,195
7 Seth V. Greenberg Men's Basketball $208,394
8 T M. O'Cain Football $202,537
9 Elizabeth R. Dunkenberger Women's Basketball $201,673
10 Charles H. Wiles Football $195,950
11 Curtis W. Newsome Football $162,275
12 Kevin S. Sherman Football $162,246
13 Roy M. Gentry Football $141,839
14 Torrian D. Gray Football $137,285
15 Sharon L. McCloskey Admin $136,051
16 John A. Ballein Football $121,348
17 Thomas L. Gabbard Admin $120,633
18 Peter J. Hughes Baseball $112,942
19 Robert R. Odom Men's Basketball $110,805
20 Stacey L. Palmore Men's Basketball $106,105

It's good to know that Bud Foster is getting paid a good chunk of change for the great work he does, and in addition to his $378k salary, tops in the athletic department and third highest in the entire university, Bud earned an additional $62,500 when the Hokies won the ACC Championship game and advanced to the Orange Bowl against Cincinnati last year. That totals out to $440,500, which is about four times what Frank Beamer was making back in the late 80s and early 90s (more on that later).

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Bryan Stinespring comes in at about $262k, plus $62,500 for the ACC Championship and Orange Bowl berth. To put the coordinators' salaries in perspective, when offensive coordinator Rickey Bustle left VT after the 1993 season, the Hokies hired Gary Tranquill to replace him. Tranquill was an experienced, accomplished OC who was hired from the Cleveland Browns, for $68,000 a year (per the Hokie Huddler, Vol. 11, No. 20, Feb. 4th, 1994). These days, that's just a nice little bonus for Stinespring and Foster.

In all, seven of the top ten salaries are football coaches, with AD Jim Weaver, men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg, and women's basketball coach Beth Dunkenberger being the only others to crack the top ten.

Greenberg's total compensation is close to a million a year, coming in at $939,908 (next year), per a recent Roanoke Times article on the hiring of Tony Bennett at UVa.

For a different look at things, let's break it out by football, basketball, and admin/staff salaries.

Virginia Tech Football Salaries (2009)
Name Department Salary
Robert E. Foster Def. Coordinator $378,000
Franklin M. Beamer Head Coach $272,328
Bryan W. Stinespring Off. Coordinator $262,198
William T. Hite Assoc. Head Coach, RB Coach $242,336
James C. Cavanaugh Assistant Coach $212,195
Mike O'Cain Assistant Coach $202,537
Charles H. Wiles Assistant Coach $195,950
Curtis W. Newsome Assistant Coach $162,275
Kevin S. Sherman Assistant Coach $162,246
Roy (Mike) Gentry Director, Athletics Performance $141,839
Torrian D. Gray Assistant Coach $137,285
John A. Ballein Associate AD, Football Operations $121,348
Michael W. Goforth Assistant AD, Athletic Training $80,251
Kevin L. Hicks Football Staff $65,000

Note that we grouped Mike Gentry and Mike Goforth here, even though they are both technically the heads of departments (athletic performance and sports medicine, respectively) that serve all sports, not just football.

Who is Kevin Hicks? Kevin is the Director of Broadcasting and Visual Media for the football team. 15 years after VT hired Gary Tranquill, Kevin Hicks makes nearly as much as an OC made back then. Good for Kevin, and an indicator of the growth in Tech athletics in the last 15 years.

Here are some other salary groupings.

Virginia Tech Athletic Administration Salaries (2009)
Name Department Salary
James C. Weaver Director of Athletics $362,472
Sharon L. McCloskey Senior Associate Dir. Of Athletics $136,051
Thomas L. Gabbard Associate Dir. Of Athletics $120,633
Jon W. Jaudon Associate Dir. Of Athletics $105,232
Timothy M. East Associate Dir. Of Athletics $95,115
Christopher L. Helms Director, Student-Athlete Academics $90,000
Clarence A. (Sandy) Smith Associate AD, Ticketing $76,606
Timothy S. Parker Senior Associate AD, Compliance $74,175
Dave Smith Associate AD, Communications $70,053
Russell J. Whitenack Director, Monogram Club $68,391
Pam Linkous Human Resources $50,604
Jeremy Wells Assistant AD, Marketing/Promotions $50,336
Natalie Hart Director, NCAA Iniatives/Diversity $50,000



Virginia Tech Men's Basketball Salaries (2009)
Name Department Salary
Seth Greenberg Head Coach $208,394
Robert (Ryan) Odom Assistant Coach $110,805
Stacey L. Palmore Assistant Coach $106,105
James L. Johnson Assistant Coach $100,000
Adrian C. Autry Director, Basketball Operations $47,025



Virginia Tech Women's Basketball Salaries (2009)
Name Department Salary
Elizabeth R. Dunkenberger Head Coach $201,673
Shellie A. Greenman Assistant Coach $90,176
Stacy M. Cantley Assistant Coach $79,013
Angela M. Crosby Assistant Coach $76,000
Jill L. Jameson Director, Basketball Operations $47,025

The Growth in Tech Athletics

By sorting on "athletic" in the department field of the database, you are shown 150 of 156 matches. Throw the table in a spreadsheet, run a quick summation on the salary column, and you get $9,845,507. Throw in the other six people, who all probably come in at about $20,000 apiece, and you calculate that the total salaries in the athletic department are almost $10 million.

I recall running some numbers on the VT athletic budget in the mid-1990s, and Tech's entire athletic budget back in 1995 or 1996 was only about $15 or $16 million. The budget these days tops $60 million and is one of the biggest in the ACC.

Frank Beamer and his football team have been the drivers of that growth, and Beamer has benefited tremendously. After the 1990 football season, the Boston College Eagles courted Beamer, for the princely sum of almost a million dollars ... over six years. BC wanted to pay Frank $160,000 a year salary to run their football program, an increase of nearly $60,000 over his VT salary, which was $100,980 at the time (per the Hokie Huddler, Vol. 8, No. 24, March 1st, 1991).

Beamer signed a new contract in February of 1991, and he received a raise of about $10,000 a year, to a base salary of $111,078. But Frank refused to take the raise at the time, because other Virginia Tech employees' salaries had been frozen, due to state budget cuts.

There was no mention of Beamer's other compensation at the time, such as Hokie Club appearance fees and radio and TV fees, but they couldn't have been very significant, because Frank Beamer wasn't a high-demand product back then.

Since then, Frank Beamer has come a long way. So has the Tech athletic department, and so have the number of employees in the department and the salaries they are paid.