Colorado will pay its assistant football coaches roughly $400,000 more this season, with the base salary pool topping the $3 million mark.

Big raises for co-offensive coordinator/receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini and offensive line coach Klayton Adams, as well as a lofty deal for new defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot, make up most of that increase.

According to a USA Today database of assistant coach salaries released in December, CU paid its nine assistants a total of $2,661,601 in base salary last year. Numbers provided to by CU this week show that total is up to $3,065,644 this year.

In addition to the new contract extension signed by head coach Mike MacIntyre this offseason, CU will be paying roughly $1.2 million more in football coaching salaries this year. MacIntyre's new contract, worth $14.85 million over five years, will pay him $2.


8 million in base and supplemental salary this year, a bump of roughly $800,000.

Following a 10-4 season and Pac-12 South title, CU has given raises to five of its six returning assistants, and each of the three newcomers will make more than their predecessors.

As reported in January, Eliot's $700,000 annual salary is roughly $188,000 more per year than what former coordinator Jim Leavitt was paid. Eliot is the highest paid assistant in CU history.

Chiaverini, entering his second season with the Buffs, received the largest raise of any of the returning assistants. He is set to make $375,000 in base salary, a raise of roughly $110,000 from last year.

Adams had his salary increased to $315,000, a jump of roughly $54,000 over last year. He is entering his fifth season at CU, his second as offensive line coach.

Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Brian Lindgren, running backs coach Darian Hagan and defensive line coach Jim Jeffcoat all received modest raises of less than $8,000 each.

The only returning assistant who did not receive a raise is tight ends coach Gary Bernardi.

New linebackers coach Ross Els will make $225,000 this year, while new secondary coach ShaDon Brown will make $200,000.

Each of the assistants also has potential bonuses they can earn.

Aside from Eliot, who signed a three-year contract, the other assistants are currently at-will employees, which means they don't actually have contracts. That is about to change, however.

For several years, CU has been limited to six contracted employees, and the football staff has just two of those contracts (MacIntyre and Eliot). New state legislation adopted this year, however, will allow CU to sign more of its coaches to contracts. That legislation goes into effect on Aug. 9.

While CU has not said which coaches in the department will get contracts, it's likely that most of the football staff will. Contracts will then have to be approved by the Board of Regents.

Below are the salaries for Colorado's nine football assistant coaches:

Coach, position 2017 salary 2016 salary
D.J. Eliot, Def. Coordinator $700,000 $511,900*
Brian Lindgren, Co-OC/ QBs $487,232 $481,825
Darrin Chiaverini, Co-OC/WRs $375,000 $265,625
Klayton Adams, Offensive line $315,000 $261,025
Gary Bernardi, Tight ends $311,000 $311,625
Jim Jeffcoat, Defensive line $269,012 $263,732
Ross Els, Linebackers $225,000 $205,025*
ShaDon Brown, Secondary $200,000 $185,219*
Darian Hagan, Running backs $183,400 $175,625
Total $3,065,644 $2,661,601

* For Eliot, Els and Brown, who are in their first season at CU, the 2016 salary represents what their predecessors were paid. (Note: 2017 salaries provided to by CU; 2016 salaries from USA Today database of assistant coach salaries).

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or