There is no doubt that college sports is big business and the top college basketball teams rake in huge sums of money. But to develop a team that brings in money you must invest money. The team has to have a top coach to manage the talent. Unfortunately, to hire the kind of coaches that win games the teams have to spend big. It is no secret that the highest salaries are often earned by the most successful and sometimes controversial helmsmen.
To understand how different coaches are making their money, I analyze the performances of various teams and their head coaches. I found out that most of the teams pay huge junk of their revenues to these guys. I, however, had to narrow down the list to only the best few. Below you will find a deep dive of my list of the top five highest paid college basketball coaches.
1. Mike Krzyzewski,
Mike Krzyzewski, famously known as ‘Coach K’, has been consistently successful over the years. He has led the Blue Devils to the level it is today. Mike has won more than 960 games and 13 conference titles. I can confidently say that no other college coach has had the success that Mike Krzyzewski enjoys. His value to the Blue Devils cannot be underestimated. The team has reached 12 Finals Fours as well as five National Championship under the stewardship of Mike Krzyzewski. He has several awards and honors to his name such as ACC Coach of the Year (1984, 1986, 1997, 1999, & 2000) and Basketball Times National Coach of the Year (1986 & 1997) among several others. His effort has seen him pocket more than $7.2 Million a year.
2. John Calipari
Since his arrival in 2009, John Calipari has managed to lead his team to 4 Final Four appearances (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015) winning it big in 2012. The Wildcats have won 206 games under John and this makes him one of the most expensive coaches few teams could afford. He began his career as an assistant coach at the University of Kansas in 1982 and from then he led several other top college teams before breaking off to coach the New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, only to return to NCAA in 1999. All through his career, John has excelled; he has various coaching honors in his name. He earns a salary of $6.5 million a year and a bonus of $50,000 on top of it.
3. Rick Pitino
Rick Pitino is one of the top coaches with more than one national championship to his name. He has managed to do this with more than one college team that is with Kentucky in 1996 and with Louisville in 2013. He has the head coach of Louisville Cardinals since 2001. Rick Pitino has received fame for his stewardships as well as notoriety in equal measures. He has .749 winning percentage and has managed to lead the Cardinals to 12 NCAA appearances. Rick is handsomely paid $6 Million and a bonus of $775,000
4. Bill Self
Bill Self has a long-standing career dating back to 1985 but he has been the head coach for University of Kansas men’s team (the Kansas Jayhawks) since 2003. He has won 11 straight Big 12 Conference regular season championships. His best was reaching the sport’s pinnacle in 2008. He has also led the Jayhawks to 12 NCAA appearances. For this effort, he is being rewarded with a salary of $5 million & a bonus of $525,000.
5. Tom Izzo
This is a legend who has been in the field for over twenty years. It is only Mike Krzyzewski and Rick Pitino who have more Final Fours under their belts than Tom Izzo. He has lead Michigan States Team (the Spartans) to the NCAA tournament 18 times. With this impressive resume, Tom Izzo takes home $4 million and a bonus of $350,000.