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Highest Paid Coaches in Basketball

Calipari's Kentucky Deal Raises the Bar


Rick Pitino's White Suit

Louisville's Rick Pitino tops the salary list for Division I men's basketball coaches.

Getty Images / Andy Lyons
Updated June 27, 2011
Say what you want about the Kentucky job... the prestige, the tradition, the fan base...

The money ain't bad, either.

The University of Kentucky continues to set the bar high for coaching salaries, giving John Calipari an eight-year deal reportedly worth an average $4,500,000 annually. He'll make more in 10 minutes of game time than the average Kentucky resident makes in a year.

And Coach Cal isn't even the highest-paid coach in the Bluegrass State. That honor goes to Louisville's Rick Pitino, who reportedly pulls over $7.5 million dollars annually.

To illustrate how salaries have grown: in 2002, according to a report in Sports Illustrated, there were relatively few basketball coaches making "CEO money." SI's list at the time put just three coaches over the $1 million mark in salary, with Kentucky's Tubby Smith the highest-paid at $2.4 million a year.

Here's a look at some of the top reported salaries in Division I men's college basketball. Bear in mind, this is not a straight applies-to-apples comparison... some schools include apparel deals with sneaker companies as part of the reported compensation package (Florida is one), others do not. Public Universities -- most of the schools on this list -- have to be more forthcoming about the salaries they are paying, while private institutions like Duke and Syracuse can play things a bit closer to the vest.

Coach Team Average Salary (Millions) Source
Rick Pitino Louisville 7.5 USA Today
John Calipari Kentucky 4.5 Associated Press
Mike Krzyzewski Duke 4.1 USA Today
Billy Donovan Florida 3.5 Orlandosentinel.com
Bill Self Kansas 3 ESPN.com
Thad Matta Ohio State 2.5 Diverseeducation.com
Jim Calhoun Connecticut 2.3 Associated Press
Rick Barnes Texas 2.4 Yahoo! Sports
Roy Williams North Carolina 2.11 ESPN.com
Sean Miller Arizona 2.3 USA Today
Tom Izzo Michigan State 1.735 MSUSpartans.cstv.com
Ben Howland UCLA 1.5 LATimes.com
Tom Crean Indiana 1.48 Insidethehall.com
Mark Turgeon Maryland 2.5 Dallas Morning News
Jim Boeheim Syracuse 1.00 plus Syracuse.com
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