House Prices Up 13x; College Coaching Salaries Up 370x - A Bit of Fascinating Perspective

    America’s Top College Coach Made $27,000 in 1974 vs. $10 Million Today

    Woody Hayes was a renowned and somewhat nutty head coach of Ohio State – where he resided for decades, winning a whopping FIVE national championships.

    He very famously ended his career though when he punched an opposing team’s player after an interception – which you can view here in this 30-second video (a nice reminder that we have always lived in crazy times).

    What is so fascinating about Hayes now though is that he only made $27,000 per year in 1974 – or only $165,000 in today’s dollars!

    This is in sharp contrast to today’s top college coaches who make upwards of $10 million per year!

    The WSJ wrote about these contrasting salaries in January in this short article.

    Equally interesting was how stupid America was back then, as the gist of the article was about the President (Gerald Ford) begging America to spend less and charge less in an effort to “Whip Inflation Now” (the President’s famous “WIN” inflation fighting program).

    WIN was comical because it proved how clueless our government was about the causes of inflation at the time, making our current crop of “experts” almost seem a bit less clueless.

    Even more interesting is that Woody Hayes famously refused a raise in 1974 to help President Ford fight inflation (it didn’t work, in case anyone is wondering, as inflation continued to run out of control until the early 1980s).

    “Skyrocketing” Housing Prices in Perspective

    This FRED chart shows median prices from the 1960s through 2022. In 1974, the median home price was around $36,000 and today it is around $467,000.

    So – the median home price is almost 13x higher than it was in 1974 – which is a bit disconcerting, granted, as home prices have outpaced inflation.

    BUT – homes have also increased in size on average by well over 60%. Here are two articles illuminating this: American Homes Have Changed Much Over the Years; and Average Size of U.S. Home Decade by Decade.

    They are both a bit dated, but they beautifully illustrate the growth trend, and houses have only grown larger since the articles were written.

    And size alone does not begin to account for how much nicer houses are in general nowadays with better windows, appliances, insulation, layouts, storage, and construction materials in general.

    So, when we account for the massive increase in size and quality of homes, they are probably right on par with inflation – and probably not much to worry about either.

    Home Prices up by 13X; College Coaching Prices up by 370X

    And finally, while home prices have increased by 13x since 1974, college coaching prices have increased 370X – and unfortunately, there is no data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve to prove that college coaches have improved as much as housing.

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