Since we have a bit of time and DCs are a hot topic, I looked around at some publicly available competitive salary information in regards to names floating around as well as some interesting comps since they are new DCs which should reflect the market:
Greg Robinson: $270,000
Jeff Casteel WVU: $320,000
Chuck Heater UF: $305,000 (as a DB coach!!!)
New DCs or other DCs
Vance Bedford UL: $300,000 (ex-UM, new DC with Charlie Strong)
Vic Koenning UI: $325,000 (new DC brought in this year to rescue the defense)
Teryl Austin UF: $440,000 (the new DC, ex-UM)
Todd Grantham UGA: $750,000 (new DC brought in this year to rescue the defense)
Justin Wilcox UT: $600,000 (new DC brought in by new coach Dooley)
You could continue this with a number of data points, but what is interesting to me is that Gainsville, Knoxville, Athens, Urbana-Champaign, Morgantown or Louisville do not have higher costs of living than Ann Arbor which further exacerbates how out of the range we are on the pay scale without even considering the really high salaries like Monte Kiffin at $1.2M/yr. It is striking that a first year DC like Bedford makes more than GERG. Casteel would be a bump to $400k, just to break even (!) if you use a cost of living calculator for Ann Arbor and Morgantown. Heater needs $350k using similar metrics to break even. Additionally, the big name turnaround guys seem to demand a bigger bump still.
Based on the above, we have a more basic problem than just finding candidates. We need a paradigm shift regarding how we pay coordinators and the assistant coaches or it seems doubtful that we will be able to assemble a NC quality staff. The UM name goes a long way, but it does not pay the bills nor do many high performers look to often take pay cuts.