NCAA’s best paid coaches

Dressed to kill, stalking the sideline and working the refs during the game, smiling for the cameras before and after. For some, their next big job depends on how they do in the tourney. Players’ league? That’s the NBA. The NCAA is a coach’s game, centered around the guy who builds and runs the program as players roll through, some after one year. Mention Duke basketball and who springs to mind? It isn’t center Mason Plumlee. It’s Mike Krzyzewski.

College coaches are paid accordingly. There are 35 coaches whose salaries cross the million-dollar threshold, of which 14 pull in more than $2 million. Generally speaking, those making the bigger bucks are worth it. The average seven-figure coach has notched 17 years of service time, taken his schools to the NCAA tournament in 10 of them, while winning 69% of his games overall (average annual record: 22-10). Altogether, the group boasts 51 Final Four appearances and 13 national titles.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some individuals living at the far end of the scale whose pay, relatively speaking, outshines their performance. Missouri coach Frank Haith fit this mold. Now in his second year with the Tigers after a seven-year run at Miami, Haith has two NCAA tournament appearances on his resume, none past the second round.

His .611 career winning percentage is 80 points below that of the typical million dollar-plus coach. At $1.6 million, Haith’s salary is comparable to those of Josh Pastner of Memphis, John Thompson III of Georgetown and Mike Montgomery of California, all of whom have put up better career numbers.
Following Haith in the overpaid parade: Baylor’s Scott Drew (.573; three tourney appearances in 11 years, $1.76 million) and Michigan’s John Beilein (.612; seven tournaments in 21 seasons; $2.3 million).

Yes, you can be a great coach and still be overpaid.

1 Duke Mike Krzyzewski $7,233,976 $0 $7,233,976
2 Louisville Rick Pitino $4,078,327 $895,016 $4,973,343
3 Kansas Bill Self $4,750,763 $210,000 $4,960,763
4 Michigan St Tom Izzo $3,220,769 $525,000 $3,745,769
5 Florida Billy Donovan $3,689,200 $0 $3,689,200
6 Ohio State Thad Matta $3,087,000 $107,000 $3,194,000
7 Indiana Tom Crean $2,886,250 $0 $2,886,250
8 Arizona Sean Miller $2,100,000 $418,506 $2,518,506
Bo Ryan $2,093,750 $257,000 $2,350,750
10 Villanova Jay Wright $2,290,346 $0 $2,290,346

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