Wonders Bred wrote:
Ward is doing fine financially if he’s an associate prof.
No, he's not an associate professor. Those are people with PhDs and tenure-track jobs who have already earned tenure and been advanced from the rank of assistant to associate. At an R1 university, this requires significant research output, like a book published by a good university press or 5-6 significant articles in well-ranked journals.
Ward is an adjunct professor with an M.A. That means he might be teaching full-time, but earning significantly less than the tenure-track faculty, or he's teaching part-time and being paid per class. BYU pays reasonably well (first-hand knowledge), but the financial situation of adjuncts anywhere can be tricky even at a school that pays decently (again, first-hand knowledge). Probably his income is a mixture of statistics teaching, possibly some from coaching, and primarily his Saucony sponsorship.
In addition, he's got to think about his future, which is more likely to be in coaching than in stats - he'd have to do a Ph.D. to stay in teaching, or he'll have to find an industry job somewhere. So the question is, what's going to bring him credibility as a coach, either as a private coach or as a college-level coach? With mostly American clients and American colleges interested in him, what pays off more: running a 2:09:59, or being 1st American at Boston? Honestly, it's a trade-off, but I could see why the bigger payoff now plus a realistic shot at 1st American honors might pay off more in the long term.