Michigan State’s Tom Izzo ranks fifth in total pay this season — $4,006,955 — among coaches in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, according to a USA TODAY Sports analysis.
Two other coaches with teams in this weekend’s Final Four rank above Izzo, who leads Big Ten coaches. Kentucky’s John Calipari is first, at $6,356,756, followed by Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski ($6,043,979), Louisville’s Rick Pitino ($6,004,529) and Kansas’ Bill Self ($4,955,186).
The average compensation for coaches in the tournament this season is just over $1.75 million. The study analyzed contracts of 64 of the 68 coaches. Information for four private schools — BYU, Butler, Harvard (coached by former Michigan coach Tommy Amaker) and Hampton — was not available. Seventeen of the coaches make at least $2.5 million.
Ohio State’s Thad Matta ranks seventh among tournament coaches and second in the Big Ten, at $3,372,000. Indiana’s Tom Crean ($3,046,250) and Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan ($2,946,000) round out the top 10.
Former Detroit Pistons coach Larry Brown of SMU makes $1,911,894, which ranks 26th among the 64 coaches, and one spot ahead of two-time NCAA champion Roy Williams of North Carolina, who makes $1,911,402. Williams’ total does not include additional income from endorsements, appearances and such. Former Michigan coach Steve Fisher of San Diego State has a compensation of $965,440, which ranks 40th.
Connecticut’s Kevin Ollie, who led the Huskies to the national title last year with a win over Kentucky, signed a new deal in May that pays him $3 million — an increase of $1.75 million over what he made the year before. Ollie makes more than the $2.7 million that his mentor, Jim Calhoun, did in his final season, even though Calhoun built the program and won three national championships.
UConn athletic director Warde Manuel recalls pulling Ollie aside before the Huskies played an Elite Eight game against Michigan State at Madison Square Garden last year.
“I said, ‘Kevin, I don’t know where this journey is going to take us, but I want you to know that you’ve earned a new contract,'” said Manuel, a former Michigan football player and associate AD. “I’d already spoken to the president and let her know what I wanted to do. And so I wanted him to know that, at the end of the season, we were going to sit down and talk. But then he went out and won the championship and made my job harder.”
Calipari makes more than double Ollie. The generated revenue of Kentucky’s athletic department for the 2013-14 fiscal year was $95.8 million, more than double UConn’s $44.3 million, based on the schools’ most recent financial reports to the NCAA.
That disparity illustrates a growing gap between schools in the five power conferences and the rest. The average compensation for coaches from 29 tournament schools in the Power 5 was nearly $2.9 million, while the average compensation for coaches from 35 tourney schools outside the Power 5 was $821,000.