March Madness? More Like Mad Coach Salaries!

Basketball coaches are renown for making big names for themselves on the stage during the month of March. This is also the time when the coaches can make huge cash bonuses.

NCAA Men's Basketball East Regionals: Ohio State Vs. Syracuse University

When the Tennessee University men’s and women’s basketball teams grace the court in the “Sweet 16” round of the NCAA tournament there is far more than school pride at stake. Claiming a win provides thousands of dollars in the pockets of the University of Tennessee coaches and those of the opposing teams.

Coaches Bonuses

There are a multitude of bonuses that coaches can qualify for with the most prestige as follows:

Big Orange Bonus

The head coach at the University of Tennessee, Cuonza Martin, is paid $1.35 million a year during the season regardless of results. Martin earnt an additional $50,000 bonus for making the NCAA tournament and that bonus was added to when UT made it through to the “Sweet 16” bringing the total to $75,000. If the Vols make it through to the “Elite Eight” Martin will scoop a further $25,000 plus a further $150,000 bonus for making the final four and should his team win the entire tournament, he will receive a further $200,000 bonus.

Big Blue Bonus

Head coach of the Big Blue of Michigan, John Beilein has already banked a $75,000 bonus when his team made the top sixteen, $25,000 was for getting a place in the tournament and a further $25,000 per tournament win. He will then continue to net a $25,000 bonus for each win from this point onwards.

Bluegrass Bonus

The winning team out of the Vols vs. Wolverines will go on to play the winner of Kentucky vs. Louisville whose coaches John Calipari (Kentucky) and Rick Pitino (Louisville) are the two highest paid college coaches worldwide. Calipari has a contract that guarantees him $5.2 million and he has a possible $350,000 of bonuses that he can collect during the season. Pitino’s contract is slightly more modest at $4.9 million and he has the capability of adding a further $325,000 in bonuses through the season.

Billy Ball Bonus

Head coach of the Florida Gators, Billy Donovan has already picked up $225,000 in bonuses for winning the SEC regular season title, plus the tournament and being named SEC coach of the year and finishing the season in the top 10 of the poll by the Associated Press and making it through to the “Sweet 16” in the NCAA tournament. Donovan has the capability of racking up a further $100,000 bonus if the Florida Gator’s make it through to the final four and a further $150,000 if he wins the national championship. All in all, Donovan will rake in a colossal $400,000 if the Gators bring home the title and there is also a further $50,000 on offer if he is then named the AP national coach of the year.

Lady Vols Bracket Bonus

Being the head coach of the Lady Vols is hardly a walk in the park for Holly Warlick and this is probably why she earns a salary of $550,000 before bonuses. Holly earnt an additional $25,000 bonus when the team scooped the win at the SEC tournament. To date in the NCAA tournament Warlick has netted $40,000 in bonuses from making the NCAA tournament, and this was then bolstered further when the Lady Vols made the “Sweet 16.” If they continue through to the final eight she will add a $20,000 bonus and this again for making the final four. If the Lady Vols remain victorious for their ninth national championship Warlick will pick up a further $150,000 bonus.

Athletic Director’s Bonus Round

It is not just the coaches with money on the line during the NCAA tournament, as many of the athletic directors also have contracts that offer cash bonuses tied to basketball victories.

Dave Hart, the athletic director at Tennessee University is one of the few that don’t earn performance based bonuses but he does earn a respectable $817,250 as his annual salary.

Mitch Barnhart the athletic director at Kentucky has an annual salary of $654,000 with total additional bonuses of up to $240,000 that are performance related.

Tom Jurich, the Louisville’s athletic director is one of the highest paid athletic directors of all time with an annual salary of 1,411,915 and the chance to add a further $344,000 in bonuses.

Dave Brandon, the athletic director at Michigan is slightly more secretive when it comes to earnings. His annual salary stands at $900,000 as head of the Bog Blue department, and he also has the capability of earning a further $200,000 in performance based bonuses per year. The stipulations that earn him even more cash is negotiated and agreed year on year.

Jeremy Foley, who is the athletic director at the University of Florida earns an annual salary of $1,233,250 which sees him as the third highest paid athletic director, Foley also has the capability to earn up to $50,000 in a variety of performance related bonuses.