With NCAA’s Final Four upon us, there is no better time than now for basketball fans. The madness of March is about to heat up, and even if your favorite team didn’t make there’s still plenty of intrigue for fans with legendary coaches like Tom Izzo, John Calipari and Mike Krzyzewski involved.
While the players on the court ultimately decide the outcome, you don’t want to overlook the coaches on the sideline. And on The Payroll Blog, we don’t overlook their salaries.
Below, we shared some recent data on the 10 highest paid men’s college basketball coaches. In this section, we are going to examine how much this year’s (2015) Final Four coaches are earning.
Let’s start with University of Kentucky head man John Calipari. As one of the highest paid coaches in the college game, he earned $6.5 million for his work during the 2014-15 season. If that is not impressive enough, consider the following: his pay will increase to $7.25 million in 2016-17.
Under terms of a revised deal, Calipari’s contract no longer includes on-court team performance bonuses. However, he is able to earn an additional $50,000 if his team achieves a NCAA Academic Progress Rate of at least 950.
To protect against Calipari jumping to the NBA, the university has increased his retention bonus. If he is still Kentucky’s coach on July 31, 2016, it will result in a $1.6 million payment.
Calipari may be getting most of the attention this year, thanks to his team’s dominance, but Mike Krzyzewski is still widely considered the top coach in the game. And according to USA Today, he is paid accordingly. It notes total pay of $9,682,032 for the 2014-15 season. This signifies a $2,448,056 increase from the previous season.
Michigan State’s Tom Izzo remains one of the highest paid coaches in the game, thanks to his 2014-15 salary of $3,893,954. With a potential bonus of $350,000, Izzo is not hurting for money. What he is hurting for is another national championship.
Last, but certainly not least, is Bo Ryan, the leader of the Wisconsin men’s basketball team. Ryan is often overlooked by fans and media, however, what he has accomplished at Wisconsin should one day land him in the College Basketball Hall of Fame. Ryan’s 2014-15 salary checks in at $2,413,500, with bonus potential of $400,000.
The 2015 Final Four will be one to remember, if for no other reason than the coaches roaming the sideline.
Let’s take a closer look at the 10 highest paid college basketball coaches at the end of the 2012 season, with the help of information compiled by Forbes:
1. John Calipari, University of Kentucky – $4 million
2. Tom Izzo, Michigan State University – $3.5 million
3. Billy Donovan, University of Florida – $3.5 million
4. Bill Self, University of Kansas – $3 million
5. Rick Pitino, University of Louisville – $2.5 million
6. Thad Matta, Ohio State University – $2.5 million
7. Rick Barnes, University of Texas – $2.4 million (recently fired)
8. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University – $2.4 million
9. Jim Calhoun, University of Connecticut (retired) – $2.3 million
10. Sean Miller, University of Arizona – $2.3 million
When you look over the credentials of each coach, there is one common bond: they all have an extremely high winning percentage.
In other words, in men’s college basketball the highest paid coaches are the ones that win the most games. Makes sense, right?
Additionally, only three coaches on the list – Thad Matta, Rick Barnes, and Sean Miller – have never won an NCAA Championship.