The Highest Paid Officials On Pentagon Budget are Football Coaches


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It may surprise you, or not, but the head football coaches of Navy, Army, and Air Force are the highest paid men on the Pentagon’s payroll.

This according to Chicago Life’s economic columnist Allen R. Sanderson, in a piece comparing the United States’ economic operations compared to other top nations.

As of 2013, here is the order of each of their yearly compensations, from smallest to largest. These numbers come from

* full details not available to public due to the schools being service academies.

3. Rich Ellerson – Army – $600,000

Army v Duke


2. Troy Calhoun – Air Force – $900,000

Troy Calhoun


1. Ken Niumatolo – Air Force – $1,650,000



As the numbers show Niumatolo makes more than Ellerson and Calhoun combined. To put this in further perspective, the Vice Chief of Staff, John F. Campbell, makes approximately $220,263.50 (including allowances). That’s not a bad pay by any means, but we’d argue being the second highest-ranking-officer in the United States Army is more important than coaching football.

In terms of head coaches none of these three crack the top-60 highest paid coaches in college football. As Deadspin pointed out in May: 27 college football coaches are among the highest-paid employees of their respective states.

With the revenue machine that is college football showing no signs of stopping, these figures are expected to stand or even grow as the years progress. The question remains: is America putting too much emphasis on football? Or are we making a fuss over nothing?


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  • GTG

    None of them are on the Pentagon’s payroll. Each are paid through the schools’ separate athletic associations through non-appropriated funds.