Dallas ISD Approves Pay Raise for Head Football Coaches

W.T. White’s Daviawn Bishop (2) runs the ball against fellow Dallas ISD school Woodrow Wilson during a high school football game at Forester Field in Dallas on September 24, 2021. | Image by Brandon Wade / Dallas Morning News

At the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, all Dallas Independent School District head football coaches will receive a pay raise.

Dallas ISD announced the news on Tuesday, February 22, stating that the school district decided on the pay raise after researching the salaries of other head coaches in North Texas.

“We are just looking at the salaries within the market. We did a market adjustment,” Dallas ISD Executive Director of Athletics Silvia Salinas told The Dallas Morning News. “We just thought it was something our coaches deserved. We were in the middle of the market, maybe toward the low end, but we weren’t even competitive with some of the other surrounding districts.”

The increase will mean an additional $15,000 for all current head coaches — bringing their average salary to just above $122,000 per year — and a higher starting salary range for new hires — which will now start at $95,000, up from $84,000.

The new raise puts Dallas ISD coaches among the highest paid in North Texas. The district hopes the pay increase will help its schools retain coaches and attract other top coaching talents.

“I am blessed and highly favored, just to be a part of this district and to be able to get that,” Hillcrest Football Coach Jacob Ramon said. “It’s very good for the district. There is a gap between being here in the inner city and out in the suburbs, and I think this is just one small part that will close that gap.” He added, “It’s going to be very enticing to get some good coaches into the district.”

“I think [the raise] will bring others home. Those who are off at some of the suburban areas, it will give them even more of an incentive to come back,” said Henry Cofer, who is entering his eighth season as the head football coach at Kimball.

Two of the more successful Dallas ISD football programs from last season, Woodrow Wilson (8-3) and W.T. White (6-5), have seen their head coaches leave for other jobs since the end of last season. Tony Benedetto from Woodrow Wilson became the new head football coach at Plano East in January. Earlier this month, Tony Johnson from W.T. White was announced as the new assistant athletic director and head football coach at Copperas Cove.

However, Johnson said that money was not why he left W.T. White.

“The things that are attractive to me at Cove are I can hire my son, my coordinators don’t teach classes, I have 17 coaches. There are just so many infrastructural things that make it such an attractive job,” Johnson told The Dallas Morning News.

The announcement also says that the school district will review the stipend amounts for all other coaching positions. Football assistant coaches and coaches for all other sports typically work in teacher/coach positions and are paid with stipends.

“It’s exciting. It’s a blessing that Dallas ISD is making a commitment to our programs and showing us a sense of loyalty at the same time,” Cofer added. “It’s a game changer for sure, [Salinas] has definitely made her stamp as the executive director of athletics in Dallas ISD.”

This past season, South Oak Cliff won the Class 5A Division II state title, which gave Dallas ISD its first football state championship since 1958. However, South Oak Cliff was the only Dallas ISD school to make it further than the first round of the playoffs.

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