Since joining the Big East in 2005, the University of South Florida's coaches and athletic department staff members have been among the lowest paid of the six Bowl Championship Series conferences.
That is, with one notable exception: Athletic Director Doug Woolard.
Woolard's annual salary of $421,950 makes him the nation's second highest-paid athletic director in the BCS based on the percentage of his salary compared with the school's athletic department budget.
Only Kansas' Lew Perkins receives a bigger chunk of his school's athletic budget than Woolard.
And despite USF having the Big East's second-lowest athletic budget ($34.7 million), Woolard's salary ranks second in the league to Louisville's Tom Jurich ($484,993).
Other than USF football coach Jim Leavitt, whose $1.5 million salary is near the top in the Big East, the remainder of USF's head coaches, assistants and athletic department personnel are among the lowest compensated in the Big East and the BCS conferences, according to a 2008 national athletic directors' survey of salaries obtained by The Tampa Tribune.
"Ever since we've left Conference USA for the Big East, we've identified department compensation as an area for improvement," Woolard said. "We've made some strides and some adjustments, but we've got more to do, and we realize that."
Woolard said it "wouldn't be appropriate" to discuss his compensation.
"That's determined by the university's administration," he said. "I appreciate the administration's level of support in our vision for the department."
In 2004, USF hired Woolard from Saint Louis University to replace Lee Roy Selmon, and he received a $245,000 salary. In Woolard's first four years, he has received $120,000 in bonuses from USF President Judy Genshaft, and he is eligible for another $30,000 bonus in the next three months.
In July, Woolard, 59, received a new four-year contract through June 30, 2012, that makes him eligible for an annual 3 percent raise and the yearly $30,000 bonus based on meeting performance goals set by Genshaft.
"The fact that we are succeeding in our endeavors is remarkable given we have the second-smallest budget among BCS schools," Genshaft said in a statement. "We have elected to use none of USF's state general revenue to support the $33 million budget for athletics, except for $547,000 mandated for Title IX programs and plant maintenance.
"Doug's charge here at the University of South Florida is to build the athletic program to one of national prominence and one that is competitive on a national level. His compensation is commensurate with our ambitions and our move into the Big East conference."
Under Woolard, the Bulls have won three Big East titles in four years: women's tennis (2007 tournament), softball (2008 regular season) and men's soccer (2008 tournament). In USF's two highest-profile sports, the Bulls have never finished higher than third in football or 14th out of 16 teams in men's basketball.
In January 2005, Woolard announced plans for an "athletics district" that would include new stadiums for softball, baseball and soccer, a new tennis complex, new basketball practice facilities, new football practice fields and major renovations to the Sun Dome.
Since then, the only construction has been a new $2.79 million track, which was paid for entirely by Hillsborough County.
In his most recent performance review for the 2007-08 school year, Woolard listed his top accomplishments as increasing annual giving to USF by $625,000 from the previous year; initiating the first Bulls Varsity Letter Club and recruiting 250 former student athletes as dues-paying members; and the growth of the Student Bulls Club, the annual gift program for students, from 260 to "nearly 500."