Is Fresno State prepared for a raid on its assistant coaches?

It’s November, which means it’s getting to be firing season around college football. Kentucky already has announced that Coach Joker Phillips won’t be back, more changes will be made after the season, and that will trickle down to assistant coaches through the winter closing in on spring, many with opportunities for better jobs in bigger places.

Fresno State Coach Tim DeRuyter has coaches on his staff that could be attractive candidates this offseason, given the Bulldogs’ turnaround this season.

And that could become an issue for Fresno State if BCS schools start calling. The athletic department has a budget of $2,600,136 for salary and benefits for its football staff in 2012-’13, up from $2,216,380 in 2011-’12. But there are 20 head coaches in the bowl subdivision making more than the entire Bulldogs’ staff this season.

‘’(Athletics Director Thomas Boeh) was great about giving me a salary pool to hire the guys we were able to hire. When you can get a guy like Dave Schramm from Utah to come here, Nick (Toth) from Texas A&M, those guys were making pretty good money so to be able to compete with those schools to bring them here, that was big for me to be able to get this thing off the ground,’’ DeRuyter said.

‘’Of course, these guys want to make as much money as they can and I don’t blame them. We’re going to try, at least I am as head coach, to do everything I can to get these guys as much money as I can.’’

But the reality in college football these days is the bigger the school, the bigger the budget and the bigger the paycheck.

‘’In this business, it’s very difficult to hold on to great assistants,’’ DeRuyter said. ‘’BCS schools have resources that, frankly, we don’t have. So what you have to try to do as a head coach is create an environment that is more comfortable for their families, a great work environment to come to and give guys opportunity for growth.

‘’If someone on our staff has an opportunity to double or triple their salary and they think it’s the best professional career move, I’ll thank them for their time and encourage them to go if that’s what they want to do. I think it’s a compliment to what our players have done that people would look at our staff.

‘’Obviously, it’s a reflection of both. But we don’t want to lose anyone on our staff because I feel I was very fortunate to be able to put a great staff together. But staffs want to be at places where they feel there’s a commitment to winning and it’s not always dollars, it’s can you consistently compete in the league that you’re in and hopefully we’ll be able to do that here.’’

DeRuyter and his status?

‘’I don’t worry about that kind of stuff,’’ he said. ‘’To me, all that stuff does is compliment what these guys have done. All we’re worried about is winning on Saturday. I talked to our team about it (Monday), we have not been in this position since 1999, where we have a target on our chest in November, and that’s where you want to be and where this program should be.

‘’So we need to go out and focus on Nevada because if you don’t they will embarrass you. If we have a week like we had last week, I think we can go out and take care of business.’’