Steve Sarkisian, Mike Leach were the best-paid state employees in Washington
Alex Gallardo, Associated Pres
SEATTLE — The football coaches at the University of Washington and Washington State University were the best paid state employees in 2013.
Former UW coach Steve Sarkisian earned over $2.6 million in 2013 before quitting late in the year to coach at Southern California. WSU coach Mike Leach earned over $2.3 million.
The only other state employee listed with a salary over $1 million was UW basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar, who earned nearly $1.9 million in 2013. His counterpart at WSU, Ken Bone, who lost his job in 2014, earned $870,143 in 2013.
New state salary data was posted online Monday by the state Office of Financial Management.
The top-paid state employee who isn't a football or basketball coach is UW athletic director Scott Woodward, who earned just over $690,000 last year.
Next on the list is WSU President Elson Floyd at a salary of $662,560. Then comes Keith Ferguson, chief investment officer of the University of Washington at $623,700.
The president of the University of Washington, Michael Young, doesn't appear on the top salary list until No. 14 at $571,380. His predecessor was not only one of the top state earners in Washington but also a top paid college president in the nation.
The searchable database offers four years of data for those who want to track raises over time. It can be sorted by job title, salary range and by name.
Although coaches are listed on the database along with office workers and college professors, they are not paid out of the same pot of state money.
Athletic department revenue, such as ticket sales and television rights or gifts, covers the coaches' salaries.
Randy Hodgins, UW vice president for external affairs, said he likes to remind people that taxpayer dollars do not pay the football coach's salary.
Rather than comment on sports salaries at the top the state salary list again, Hodgins said he would prefer to say the university is grateful to the Legislature for providing more money for higher education this year.
"So we didn't have to make any reductions and so we could keep student tuition increases at zero percent two years in a row," he said.
State Employee Salaries: http://fiscal.wa.gov/salaries.aspx
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