Warren Sapp

Why Would Warren Sapp Take An Entry-Level College Coaching Salary After Making $60M During NFL Career?

The former NFL player has just accepted a coaching position for $150,000 at the University of Colorado Boulder

After a formidable career as an NFL player making almost $5 million a year, former NFL player Warren Sapp just accepted a coaching position that will pay him $150,000 annually. Why would the former defensive specialist make such a move that will pay him substantially less?

Sapp has been petitioning for a position on Deion Sanders’ football staff at the University of Colorado Boulder since last year when he expressed an interest in following in the footsteps of his fellow Hall of Famer to become a coach.

Now that he is finally on staff, after making nearly $60 million in 13 years, he will be on the sidelines working in an entry-level coaching position.

Well, for one, that money was reportedly squandered in earlier years. In 2012, according to TMZ, the former defensive player filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in April after stating he was more than $6.7 million in debt to his creditors. Yet, he only possessed $6.45 million in assets. On September 24, 2012, a federal judge discharged Sapp from his bankruptcy case.

In September of 2023, Sapp was so impressed with Sanders’ success with two college football teams (Jackson State University and the University of Colorado Boulder), that he appeared on The Rich Eisen Show and expressed his desire to become a defensive line specialist position on Coach Prime’s staff.

“I want to be there next year,” he said. “I’m going to get everything, the paperwork, and I’m going to go to work. Because sitting on my couch watching tape, making ‘Sapp in the Lab.’ I’m gonna go Sapp into class. I’m gonna go Sapp online. I’m finna go get this degree. Then we’re gonna go out and teach these kids these five steps to the quarterback.”

Sanders also intimated that he would welcome Sapp on his staff because he knows what he can bring to the athletes at the university.

“I want him to be [on my staff],” Sanders told Eisen. “It’s different…Guys like that, the only reason they won’t go into coaching is because of the time allocated. I don’t need all that. I know him. I know what I need. You don’t need to come here and sit around all day. Come in the morning, we practice at 9, we’re on the field at 9. Get those kids ready in the morning. Work your butt off on the field. After, watch [the] film with them and go home. You’re home by noon.”

After telling Sapp that once he gets his college degree, he will bring him on staff, Sapp completed that assignment and Sanders kept his word when he announced in December that Sapp was on board. The incoming defensive coach graduated from Texas Seminary Christian University with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Sports Management.

Last week, USA Today reported that he is now a graduate assistant who will earn $150,000 for the year. According to BuffZone, the graduate assistant was introduced to the team on March 31 and is enrolled in graduate classes at the CU Boulder Graduate School. The final step in hiring Sapp was the former player passing the background check. The school confirmed that he did just that.

“Warren Sapp successfully completed all of the necessary steps required of anyone who is employed at CU Boulder, including a background check,” BuffZone was told by CU in a written statement. “Furthermore, Athletic Director Rick George personally met with Warren to clearly articulate the department’s standards and expectations, to which he acknowledged and agreed.”

So, with Sapp’s new career taking off, he has a chance to be successful in following in his colleague’s footsteps. That sounds reasonable to take the job at the $150,000 yearly salary that can only rise with success.