USA TODAY partnered with Athletic Director U to compile a list of salaries for 115 of the 130 FBS Athletic Directors, and Northwestern AD Jim Phillips came in at the No. 2 on the list with a total salary of $1.57 million.
That salary includes both base salary and “other university compensation,” according to the report. You can view the complete rankings here.
The only athletic director ahead of Phillips in total salary is Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick, who earns a whopping $3.05 million dollars, nearly double Phillips’ total salary.
Three Big Ten ADs are in the top seven on the list — Phillips, Wisconsin’s Barry Alvarez (No. 3 overall) and Ohio State’s Gene Smith (No. 7 overall). In terms of total average compensation to athletic directors, the Big Ten ranks third of all major conferences, behind the ACC and the Big 12 (Swarbrick swings the ACC’s average tremendously). Nebraska’s Bill Moos ranks fourth in the Big Ten, and Michigan State’s Mark Hollis comes in at fifth in the conference.
When you think about Phillips track record since coming to Northwestern in 2008, his salary seems warranted. He hired Chris Collins, who took Northwestern to its first NCAA Tournament in school history. Phillips has helped usher in a complete revamp to NU’s athletic facilities, securing important donations for Martin Stadium for the lacrosse and soccer teams, Ryan Fieldhouse and the Walter Athletics Center, a major renovation for Welsh-Ryan Arena and a donation for significant upgrade to the Trienens performance center. Phillips also locked up Chris Collins and Pat Fitzgerald with lengthy contract extensions last spring.
So, while NU may not have the second-most successful athletics department in the country, Phillips’s efforts to improve facilities and commit immense resources to athletics make it no surprise that he’s high on the list.