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Most states’ highest paid state workers are sports coaches — except in Dakotas

By Northern Plains News

The Dakotas are among the few states in the nation where the highest paid state employee is not a football or basketball coach.

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South Dakota’s highest paid state employee is a medical doctor.

According to a recent Deadspin online magazine study and map, the highest paid state officials in North and South Dakota are the deans of their respective state medical schools. In Montana, it’s one of the Big Sky Country’s university presidents.

However, in Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota, the highest paid state employees are football coaches.

And in the case of Minnesota, it is both the University of Minnesota’s football and basketball coaches.

Even the University of Wyoming, playing in the second-tier Mountain West Conference, pays its football coach more than any other employee.

In 39 of the 50 states, a coach was the highest paid state employee. No elected officials — including governors — cracked the list.

The other states where the highest paid state employee is not a coach are: Alaska (college president), Nevada (medical school plastic surgeon), New York (medical school department chair), Delaware (college president), Maine (law school dean), Vermont (college president), New Hampshire (college president) and Massachusetts (medical school chancellor).