Look, I realize money is tight.
That and fans don't go to New Mexico State Aggie football games — the program isn't making any money and doesn't have a whole lot extra to throw around.
Look at what the program paid last year's defensive coordinator Dale Lindsey ($70,000) and offensive coordinator Doug Martin ($90,000).
In the football world, that's minimum wage for a coordinator — in a perfect world NMSU could pay such positions closer to between $125,000 and $150,000 annually. Or at least six figures.
• Here's a list from 2010 in terms of WAC schools and their highest paid assistants. Again, this is from the 2010 season, so we're going to include Boise State in the list. This is pior to Martin's hire and Mike Dunbar's for that matter. This is according to a report done by USA Today:
Boise State: Pete Kwiatkowski ($259,520); Bryan Harsin ($259,520)
Fresno State: Jeff Grady ($107,592); Keith Williams ($107,592); Randy Stewart ($107,592)
Idaho: Steve Axman ($116,604); Mark Criner ($112,320)
Louisiana Tech: Tony Franklin ($175,000); Tony Spangler ($140,000)
Nevada: Andy Buh ($150,000); Ken Wilson ($116,000)
New Mexico State: Dale Lindsey ($70,000); R. Todd Littlejohn ($60,650)
San Jose State: Kent Baer ($125,004); Tim Landis ($125,004)
Utah State: Dave Baldwin ($155,000); Bill Busch ($150,000)
For the full list from USA Today, click here.
• Back to the Aggies...
One would think whoever take's over for Lindsey — his contract won't be renewed for next year — will make closer to what Martin made a season ago.
And hopefully Martin will get a slight raise of his own — at least above $100,000 — as he did a nice job last season and was a main reason for the Aggies improvement.
But herein lies the issue for NMSU with a low or limited pay scale: they're field of candidates is limited, one could even make the argument that it's limited to leftovers.
The school can get an up-and-comer at the position, with in all likelihood no experience running a defense — an entry-level defensive coordinator position, if you will.
If such a coach does a good job, they'll eventually be gone for a better — and one would think a better paying — position at another school.
If they're not good, they'll be leaving the Aggies for other reasons.
You can also get a coach in the final years of their career — something similar to Lindsey.
Or you can get Timm Rosenbach.
Or Mike Dunbar.
Or Martin — the third offensive coordinator at NMSU in the past three years who was ready to go and coach high school football before the Aggies came a calling.
Again, Martin did a very good job last year and was a main reason the team improved but lets also call it what it was when he was hired last March: he had nowhere else to go on the college level. It ended up being a very good hire for the Aggies, but they were also lucky to a degree such a coach fell in their lap.
If head coach DeWayne Walker's new coordinator can do with the defense what Martin did last year with the offense, it will be a great hire once again. And it will require some luck. Oh, and then if he is good NMSU will have to hold onto him — which likely means paying him anyway.
Again, I realize money's tight. But I also think the Aggies have to invest more in the product. It could make the difference in a handful of games on the schedule in any given year.
Here's a name to keep an eye on for the Aggies defensive line coaching position. Just speculation. Todd Howard coached with DeWayne Walker at UCLA and last year at Washington State. The Cougars just hired Mike Leach as their new head coach and he will bring in his own coaching staff. Click here.