These strength and conditioning coaches carry hefty price tags

Huard: Strength coaches 'worth every penny' (1:33)

Brock Huard and Ed Cunningham discuss whether it's worth it for Alabama to pay strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran $500,000 per season. (1:33)

The job of strength and conditioning coach has come a long way since the first one was hired in 1969. That's when Boyd Epley was given the position to help bulk up Nebraska players at a wage of $2 an hour.

Today, some of the biggest names in the business at the top college programs are making quite the living doing their job. Just a few weeks ago, Alabama and Georgia battled for the services of popular strength coach Scott Cochran, who ultimately stayed in Tuscaloosa and is expected to get a big pay bump next year from his already-high salary.

Why is this happening? Athletic directors and head coaches have realized that strength coaches at the college level can have more impact than any other coach. They are with the players more, know them better and communicate with them on a more personal level.

Here's a look at why the eight highest-paid strength and conditioning coaches in college football are so valuable to their programs (ranked by 2015 base salary):

1. Chris Doyle, Iowa, $515,000

The highest-paid strength and conditioning coach in the nation makes the same in salary as the school's offensive and defensive coordinators. Doyle's program centers on "Break The Rock," which takes its inspiration from the famous Jacob Riis quote about the stonecutter who sees no progress after delivering 100 blows but breaks the rock on the 101st. The Hawkeyes' new football performance center includes 23,000 square feet that Doyle, who has been at Iowa since 1999, presides over. An Iowa win against Stanford in the Rose Bowl would trigger a 16 percent raise for Doyle, upping his 2016 base pay to $597,400.

2. Mickey Marotti, Ohio State, $431,558

Counting bonuses in Ohio State's rise to the top of the college football world last season, Marotti pulled in a total of $524,750. Marotti helped Urban Meyer win two titles at Florida before re-joining the coach at Ohio State. When Meyer was hired at Ohio State in 2012, he called Marotti -- who now controls the Buckeyes' 13,000-square-foot weight room and holds the title of assistant athletic director for football sports performance -- his most important hire. Marotti doesn't do only the meathead stuff. He has also made himself responsible for synthesizing data on all the players that is shared with other parts of the Buckeyes' support staff.

3. Scott Cochran, Alabama, $420,000

Given Nick Saban's success at Alabama, it's no surprise that Cochran is high on this list. Saban brought Cochran, who worked for the coach at LSU, to Alabama in 2007 after Cochran's three-year stint with the NBA's New Orleans Hornets. Cochran runs Alabama's "Fourth Quarter" program, a nod to finishing games strong, and oversees the school's 37,000-square-foot weight room. Cochran is expected to make even more in 2016, thanks to a battle for his services after Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was hired as Georgia's head coach and wanted to bring Cochran with him. Cochran has somewhat of a celebrity status at Alabama. His Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah 5K through downtown Tuscaloosa raises money for cystic fibrosis.

4. Rob Glass, Oklahoma State, $401,166

Glass, whose nickname is "Body By Glass," was a student at Oklahoma State and rose to strength coach during the Barry Sanders' era (1986-88) at the school. Glass went to Florida for 10 years before coming back to the Cowboys when former Oklahoma State quarterback Mike Gundy took over the program in 2005. Glass' return to Stillwater was a lot different than his beginnings there. Thanks to a huge donation from booster Boone Pickens, Glass could build the ultimate workout room. That's a far cry from when he would spray paint the weights to make them look new.

5. Paul Jackson, Ole Miss, $375,000

Jackson is getting a $75,000 raise come Jan. 1, boosting him past his mentor Tommy Moffitt, whom he worked for at LSU from 2007 to 2010. Having graduated college in 2006, Jackson is the youngest coach on this list and one of the most active in sharing his workouts and thoughts on social media. Under the handle of @CoachPJackson, he has more than 11,000 followers on Twitter.

6. Ben Herbert, Arkansas $340,000

A four-year player on Wisconsin's defensive line during the Barry Alvarez days, Herbert became the man behind the weights for the Badgers, whose huge offensive lines are a trademark. He then went with Bret Bielema to Arkansas, where the 2014 team claimed to have the largest offensive line in college or pro football with an average weight for starters of 328 pounds. Players who have trained under him say he's a master motivator, and his strength comes by finding what motivates each player instead of forcing an ideal on all of them.

7. Pat Moorer, Texas, $330,000

If you want to learn about Moorer's program at Texas, you're not going to find out about it from him. Moorer, who traveled to Texas with head coach Charlie Strong after spending four years with him at Louisville, doesn't like to do interviews. Moorer is said to get the most out of his players, and the fact that three Louisville players were drafted in the first round of the 2014 draft -- Calvin Pryor, Marcus Smith and Teddy Bridgewater -- is partly due to him. As a player, Moorer went to Florida as a walk-on linebacker, was the SEC defensive freshman of the year in 1986 and eventually became a team captain.

8. Tommy Moffitt, LSU, $315,000

Sure, Les Miles can recruit with the best of them, but Moffitt can also develop players. Much of the public's focus on strength and conditioning programs is on the weights, and LSU has 30,000 pounds of weights and equipment. But Moffitt's program also focuses on movement skills, aiming to help give players explosive bursts. The record speaks for itself. In the past 10 years, LSU has produced 13 first-round draft picks, and Moffitt has developed NFL-ready speedsters such as Odell Beckham Jr., Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson.