The 25 Highest-Paid Coaches in College Basketball
AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Coaching Division I basketball is a grind. Head coaches watch film, recruit around the clock, draw up game scripts, and develop players in pursuit of a national championship.

College basketball coaches don’t deal with nearly the scrutiny college football coaches face. Basketball teams can reload and turn around in a season. Football takes time on the other hand. Sometimes a lot of time. I personally can’t relate as a Nebraska fan.

A deep run in the NCAA Tournament can elevate a coaching resume for consideration at a top program. That’s where the big bucks are made. Blue bloods like the Duke Blue Devils, Kansas Jayhawks, Michigan State Spartans, and Kentucky Wildcats pay top dollar for some of the best minds in basketball. They also serve as the CEO of their school’s brand.

USA Today publishes a database dedicated to salaries, bonuses,and buyouts. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 outbreak, several coaches took salary reductions this year.

Here are the 25 highest-paid men’s basketball coaches for the 2020-21 season, including their salary this year with pandemic reductions, and their record at their current school as of March 16, 2021.

Among the conferences the Big 12 has seven, the SEC has five, the Big Ten has four, the ACC has four, the Pac-12 has three, and the Big East has two.

Just missing the cut are Oregon’s Dana Altman, Florida’s Mike White, Maryland’s Mark Turgeon, Ohio State’s Chris Holtmann, Missouri’s Cuonzo Martin, South Carolina’s Frank Martin, Arizona’s Sean Miller, Alabama’s Nate Oats, and Arkansas’ Eric Musselman.

Highest-Paid College Basketball Coaches 2020-21

25. Shaka Smart, Texas

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Total Pay: $3.067 million


Record: 109-85

24. Lon Kruger, Oklahoma

Total Pay: $3.07 million

Record: 194-127

23. Andy Enfield, USC

Total Pay: $3.1 million

Record: 154-109

22. Tom Crean, Georgia

Total Pay: $3.2 million

Record: 41-49

21. Archie Miller, Indiana

Total Pay: $3.3 million

Record: 67-58

20. Scott Drew, Baylor

AP Photo/Jerry Larson

Total Pay: $3.35 million

Record: 366-215

19. Ed Cooley, Providence

Total Pay: $3.4 million

Record: 194-135

18. Mick Cronin, UCLA

Total Pay: $3.6 million

Record: 35-21

17. Bob Huggins, West Virginia

Total Pay: $3.645 million

Record: 309-170

16. Tony Bennett, Virginia

Total Pay: $3.66 million

Record: 295-102

15. Bill Self, Kansas

AP Photo/Ron Jenkins, File

Total Pay: $3.661 million

Record: 521-117

14. Jamie Dixon, TCU

Total Pay: $3.67million


Record: 96-71

13. Larry Krystkowiak, Utah

Total Pay: $3.76 million

Record: 183-139

12. Brad Underwood, Illinois

Total Pay: $3.8 million

Record: 70-55

11. Chris Mack, Louisville

Total Pay: $3.81 million

Record: 57-28

10. Fred Hoiberg, Nebraska

AP Photo/Jim Mone

Total Pay: $3.9 million

Record: 14-45

9. Buzz Williams, Texas A&M

Total Pay: $3.9 million

Record: 24-24

8. Bruce Pearl, Auburn

Total Pay: $3.98 million

Record: 138-92

7. Tom Izzo, Michigan State

Total Pay: $3.984 million

Record: 643-253

6. Roy Williams, North Carolina

Total Pay: $4.168 million

Record: 485-162

5. Rick Barnes, Tennessee

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Total Pay: $4.7 million

Record: 123-72

4. Chris Beard, Texas Tech

Total Pay: $4.87 million

Record: 111-54

3. Jay Wright, Villanova

Total Pay: $6.1 million


Record: 488-188

2. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke

Total Pay: $7.04 million


Record: 1,097-302

1. John Calipari, Kentucky

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Total Pay: $8.095 million

Record: 339-93

MORE: The Best March Madness Sleepers to Watch in 2021

Joe Grobeck About the author:
Joe is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and lives in Austin, Texas. He believes Ndaumkong Suh should've won the 2009 Heisman and is an avid basketball fan.
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