The other day, I set out to answer the seldom (perhaps, never-before) asked question: Who are the highest-paid adults in youth sports?
I fired up my laptop, pointed my browser at Guidestar, the repository on the Web for all things pertaining to non-profit organizations, and started searching. After a few hours reviewing tax filings and disclosure forms, these are the 10 highest paid executives I found in youth sports organizations.
This isn't close to a definitive survey. Please write if you know of others who should make the list.
It doesn't include benefits and deferred compensation. (In the case of Little League's Keener, more than $30,000 in the year I reviewed).
Most important, I'm looking only at non-profits. Add for-profit companies and of course the list would be wall-to-wall executives squeezing dollars out of youth sports for Nike, Adidas, ESPN and the other kids and sports corporate behemoths.
With those qualifications, here's the top 10. The salary figures are from the organizations' most recent available tax filings - sometimes two to three years ago.
1. Stephen A. Hamblin, American Junior Golf Association executive director, $328,941.
2. Stephen Keener, Little League Baseball president and CEO, $197,700.
3. Bobby Dodd, Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) president, $190,196
4. Steven Tellefson, Babe Ruth League Baseball, president and CEO $150,242
5. Peter Ripa, American Junior Golf Association, assistant executive director, $137,677.
6. Rosemary Schoellkopf, Babe Ruth League CFO, $133,159.
7. Dave Houseknecht, Little League Baseball CFO, $125,000
8. Joseph Smiegocki, Babe Ruth League Baseball vice president, $120,017
9. Michael Killpack, AAU director of sports, $119,502
10. Robert Faherty, Babe Ruth League Baseball communications, $116,312
The highest-paid youth sports coach I found - again, looking only at non-profits - John Hackworth, United States Soccer Federation youth national team coach, who earned $109,080.
Not everyone is pulling down a six-figure income, to be sure. These modestly paid people were the top earners in their respective youth sports organizations, according to the tax filings.
Hammid Wadood, Snoop Youth Football Foundation administrator, $60,000
Anthony C. DeLus, International Soap Box Derby, executive director, $46,736.
Jon Butler, Pop Warner Football executive director, $28,846.