How much money is too much for a high school football coach? North Carolina’s largest school district has provided something of an answer.
Last month, Vance High School coach Aaron Brand cashed in on a successful five-year run in Charlotte and accepted a coaching job at Irmo High School in Columbia.
Brand will be earning $100,000, nearly twice what he made at Vance, and his position at Irmo will include no teaching duties.
Brand’s move has renewed a lingering discussion about successful high school coaches leaving Charlotte for high-paying positions in South Carolina or at smaller, in-state schools.
The same has happened at schools across North Carolina, perhaps no more famously than with former Independence High School coach Tom Knotts, who won six state titles at the school before heading across the border to coach at Dutch Fork (S.C.) High School.
“If they value football,” Knotts said of CMS, “they need to pay coaches what’s comparable to surrounding areas of pay.”
Should they? We think all teachers should be paid more, including coaches. Certainly, individual districts should consider if and how to reward athletic success.
But the reality is that there’s little CMS can do to compete with a South Carolina school that’s waving serious cash. If that means urban districts are a training ground for deep-pocketed South Carolina schools, so be it.
Football is a memorable and worthy part of students’ high school years.
But whatever misguided sensibilities exist across the state line, football should not be an outsized priority here.