Mark Whipple is Nebraska's highest-paid assistant coach.
The new Husker offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach will make $875,000 in the first year of a two-year deal and $900,000 in the second year, according to a copy of his contract released by the university on Friday morning. The contract runs through Dec. 31, 2023.
Whipple made $476,000 annually as the offensive coordinator at Pitt.
His new salary makes him the highest-paid assistant coach in Nebraska history, surpassing the $825,000 former defensive coordinator Bob Diaco made in 2017.
Current defensive coordinator Erik Chinander made $800,000 in 2021 and could earn a raise that would match or approach Whipple's salary.
Whipple has been in football for more than 40 years and said earlier in December that he's had an affinity for Nebraska for most of his life.
“I was a young guy growing up in Arizona and they used to play in the Fiesta Bowl,” Whipple said. “Even when I was coaching and I’d always go back to my parents’ house because I didn’t have any money. We’d take our kids. (Nebraska senior offensive analyst Ron) Brown and I were classmates at Brown, so I’d go over and watch practice when they were in the Fiesta Bowl and there were about 150 kids and trucks all over the place at Scottsdale Community College and everybody had red Nebraska on their antennas and they kind of took over the town. I just was really impressed with the fans. They stayed late. I saw it firsthand. I was at the Nebraska-Arizona State game when Arizona State upset them one year at the Fiesta Bowl.
“I don’t know, I’ve always been a fan of college football and football in general, and to me it’s one of the icons.”
Since his arrival, Whipple has already started to see changes in the Husker quarterback room. Nebraska added Texas transfer Casey Thompson to the mix and is hosting Florida State transfer Chubba Purdy on an official visit this weekend.
New special teams coordinator Bill Busch is set to make $400,000 annually in his new role. Busch had made $450,000 previously as the safeties coach at LSU and was still being paid by the school in 2021 when he served as a defensive analyst for NU. His deal, like Whipple's, runs through Dec. 31, 2023.
With Busch and Whipple's contracts on the books, NU's current assistant salary pool stands at $5.1 million with the details of new running backs coach Bryan Applewhite's contract still to be finalized and released.
Nebraska may also have some raises for defensive staffers, athletic director Trev Alberts confirmed to the Journal Star earlier this week.
"There will be some slight bumps for some folks, nothing dramatic," Alberts said, adding those adjustments hadn't been finalized yet. "
"I’m all in to try to help Scott," he added. "The market has shifted. I know what’s in his contract for assistant coaches ($5 million pool), but I know what the rest of the Big Ten is spending as well in terms of $7 and $8 million dollars. He’ll probably be north of ($5 million), but remember that he’s also giving up some salary to help. I just tried to be as helpful as I can.
"Investing in areas where there’s a significant return, while there’s always risk, I feel better about than spending a bunch of money in an area where there’s no opportunity for return. … We need to get the right people here."
This story will be updated.