John Calipari Leads Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches

College basketball may be the only sport that has an entire month devoted to its championship tournament – March Madness. Teams across the country work hard their entire season so that they’re eligible to play in this highly anticipated tournament each year. Good teams work hard and average teams work even harder to have a chance to participate. The coaches of all college basketball teams dream for the chance to compete for that championship as well.
Like with any sport, there are some schools that are known as basketball powerhouses. Each year there are schools that consistently make it to the tournament. One thing that can be agreed upon when looking at school programs is that no one makes it to the March Madness tournament without a good coaching staff. Head basketball coaches are valued, especially when their team wins. As with any sport, only the most successful coaches make the most money. When a coach is winning, schools want to keep him coaching at their school. The natural way to do that is to offer the coach large amounts of money in the way of a coaching salary. Of course, the flip side to that is that when coaches start losing, they get fired.
The best coaches know how to continue their winning streaks for many years. The top ten college basketball coaches and their reported 2009 salaries are as follows:

  • John Calipari – University of Kentucky $4,000,000
  • Billy Donovan – University of Florida $3,300,000
  • Bill Self – University of Kansas $3,000,000
  • Thad Matta – Ohio State University $2,500,000
  • Rick Pitino – University of Louisville $2,250,000
  • Mike Krzyzewski – Duke University $2,200,000
  • Rick Barnes – University of Texas $2,000,000
  • Roy Williams – University of North Carolina $2,000,000
  • Bob Huggins – University of West Virginia $2,000,000
  • Ben Howland – UCLA $2,000,000

Being a college basketball coach is not easy, and only the best are rewarded with these high salaries. The job is stressful and if you’re not winning, you’re replaced. Very few get a chance to taste the victory of a national championship. Those that do are valued as the greats, and typically have a talent for making wins a regular practice.
Salaries taken from