Who Is the Highest-Paid Men’s College Basketball Coach?

  • Kentucky’s John Calipari leads way at $8.5 million per year.
  • Only four of Top 25 coaches qualified for 2023 Sweet 16.
John Calipari leads the nation in salary.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Upsets and exciting finishes are also the norms when March rolls around. But there is also a dash for head coaches to cash in on their NCAA Tournament successes — or programs to rethink the leaders of failed teams.

Look no further than the Big East to see the extent of the men’s basketball coaching carousel. 

  • On Monday, Ed Cooley left his head coaching bench from one Big East school, Providence, to conference rival Georgetown after firing Patrick Ewing.
  • Less than two hours later, St. John’s announced they would hire Rick Pitino from Iona. It will be Pitino’s third coaching role in the conference.
  • March Madness could also be considered a springboard to bigger jobs with bigger salaries. After leading No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson to a stunning win over No. 1 Purdue, coach Tobin Anderson jumped ship — to replace Pitino at Iona.

Cooley will jump up the coaching salaries chart when the season starts later this fall. But the king at the top remains Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who raked in over $8.5 million this season.

Chris Beard will drop down the list after being fired from Texas earlier this year but was recently hired at Ole Miss as its next head coach. He reportedly made $5 million in Austin. He will make $3.25 million on the Oxford, Miss. campus.

The Sweet 16

The paycheck sometimes does not translate onto the court. Only four coaches in the Top 25 qualified for this week’s Sweet 16, and Calipari isn’t one of them.

Michigan State’s Tom Izzo leads the way at No. 3 with $5.7 million, followed by Tennessee’s Rick Barnes at No. 4 with $5.4 million. Then, UCLA’s Mick Cronin and Arkansas’ Eric Musselman are No. 10 and 11 on the list with $4.1 million.

On the lower end of the coaching salary spectrum are Florida Atlantic’s Dusty May and Texas interim coach Rodney Eric Terry — the only two known coaches in the Sweet 16 to make less than $1 million per year. Terry makes $800,000, and May makes just $390,000.

Then there’s Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson, who has led his Tigers on a surprise run to the second week of the NCAA Tournament. The head coach has taken his team to the NCAA Tournament three times since he took the helm in 2011. The 15th-seeded Princeton Tigers have made it to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. However, since Princeton is a private school, Henderson’s salary has not been publicly available.

The Sweet 16 

1. Tom IzzoMichigan State$5,738,727
2.Rick BarnesTennessee$5,450,000
3.Mick CroninUCLA$4,100,000
4.Eric MusselmanArkansas$4,100,000
5.Nate OatsAlabama$3,418,644
6.Kelvin SampsonHouston$3,200,000
7.Danny HurleyConnecticut$2,900,000
8.Jim LarrañagaMiami$2,562,916
9.Sean MillerXavier$2,400,000
10.Greg McDermottCreighton$2,143,312
11.Jerome TangKansas State$2,1000,000
12.Mark FewGonzaga $1,877,687
13.Brian DutcherSan Diego State$1,353,100
14.Rodney TerryTexas$800,000*
15.Dusty MayFlorida Atlantic$390,000
16.Mitch HendersonPrincetonN/A
*interim head coach

Top 25 Coaches 2022-23 

RankCoachSchoolTotal PayConf.
1John CalipariKentucky$8,533,483SEC
2Bill SelfKansas$5,963,800Big 12
3Tom IzzoMichigan St$5,738,727Big Ten
4Rick BarnesTennessee$5,450,000SEC
5Bruce PearlAuburn$5,449,152SEC
6Chris Beard (Was hired by Ole Miss,
will be paid $3.25M/year)
Texas$5,005,000Big 12
7Tony BennettVirginia$4,830,345ACC
8Brad UnderwoodIllinois$4,600,550Big Ten
9Bob HugginsWest Virginia$4,150,000Big 12
10Mick CroninUCLA$4,100,000Pac-12
11Eric MusselmanArkansas$4,100,000SEC
12Buzz WilliamsTexas A&M$4,100,000SEC
13Dana AltmanOregon$4,009,500Pac-12
14Tommy LloydArizona$4,000,000Pac-12
15Kevin WillardMaryland$3,900,000Big Ten
16Ed Cooley (has since left for Georgetown,
paid almost $6M/year per reports)
Providence$3,751,112Big East
17Scott DrewBaylor$3,706,581Big 12
18Greg GardWisconsin$3,637,500Big Ten
19Juwan HowardMichigan$3,616,000Big Ten
20Jeff CapelPittsburgh$3,614,588ACC
21Matt PainterPurdue$3,580,000Big Ten
22Jamie DixonTexas Christian$3,512,107Big 12
23Andy EnfieldSouthern California$3,511,285Pac-12
24Chris HoltmannOhio St.$3,500,000Big Ten
25Kenny PayneLouisville$3,494,026*ACC

The top 25 highest-paid coaches have fared over the last two seasons. Most of the annual earnings are based on 2022-23 data from a USA Today Sports database but take into account coaching changes, compensation data, and the latest information.

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