Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches

There are hundreds of collegiate basketball coaches across the globe, but only a few of them have become renowned worldwide. In addition to winning many tournaments, these professionals earned a position on this list of the top 10 highest-paid college basketball coaches by accumulating millions of dollars. As with any other profession, being a skilled basketball trainer needs dedication, education, and years of experience. College basketball coaches that make the most money are recognized for transforming their teams into title winners and taking home trophies. This article presents the highest paid college basketball coaches as of 2022.

Top 10 Highest-Paid College Basketball Coaches: The Creme De La Creme

1. John Calipari – Kentucky

Calipari won the 2012 national title with the Kentucky Wildcats and is renowned for recruiting “one-and-done” players who depart after one season for the NBA. The 63-year-old led Memphis and Massachusetts to the Final Four, but both were nullified due to NCAA infractions. Like his mentor and competitor, Pitino, Calipari had a challenging three-year experience with the New Jersey Nets in the NBA. Forbes stated that in 2019, he secured a “lifetime” deal with Kentucky for $86 million. He currently receives a total pay of 8.1 million dollars every year.

2. Tom Izzo – Michigan State

Izzo is regarded as one of the most revered professionals by his colleagues. In addition to the 2000 national championship, he has led the Spartans to an astounding eight Final Fours and ten Big Ten regular-season crowns. Despite nearing the twilight of his coaching career at age 67, he continues to guide the Spartans to the NCAA Tournament every year. The last time Michigan State did not qualify for the Big Dance was in 1997, his second season as head coach. In his current position, Izzo receives an annual package of around $6 million.

3. Mick Cronin – UCLA

Cronin was not even close to being UCLA’s first option, but as he begins his fourth season with the Bruins, it is evident he was the right one. His first team mounted a miraculous late-season comeback to finish second in the Pac-12, his second team had an unbelievable journey to the Final Four, and his third team concluded with a record of 27-8 and a Sweet 16 trip. At 51, he is the second youngest coach in our top 10. Cronin has been the coach of one of the most illustrious teams in basketball among colleges since 2019 and has a deal that pays him $5.5 million each season until 2026-2027.

4. Bill Self – Kansas

As Self begins his 20th season at Kansas, he has won or shared the Big 12 regular-season title on 16 of 19 occasions, nine Big 12 Tournament crowns, and two national championships. He might have won a third national championship if the 2020 season had not been cut short. With retention incentives and professional services provisions, his yearly pay is guaranteed to be $5.41 million.

5. Bruce Pearl – Auburn

Before Pearl arrived in 2014-2015, basketball at Auburn was an afterthought with a limited history of victories. Auburn reached its first Final Four under Pearl in 2019 and earned a No. 2 seed after winning its second regular season conference championship during his career. Nobody accuses him of being the game’s most ethical coach, but he can be a divisive character. However, the vigor and success that he has brought to two previously failing SEC teams demonstrate his coaching prowess. He receives $5.4 million annually at Auburn, making him among the best highest paid college basketball coaches.

So Who are the Other Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches in America? 

6. Rick Barnes – Tennessee

Barnes has coached successful basketball teams at orange-clad football schools for the last 30 years. His playoff performance is lackluster, but his reputation as a program builder is impeccable. Tennessee was in a precarious position after Donnie Tyndall’s disastrous one-year stint when Barnes was hired for the 2015-16 season. He dragged the Volunteers out of that hole and has produced a consistent winner, leading Tennessee to its first SEC regular season and tournament championships since 1979. He is under contract until the 2025-2026 season and will earn over $5 million annually.

7. Chris Beard – Texas

Beard worked his way up from student manager to head coach. He ultimately received his first head coaching chance in Division I during the 2015-2016 season at Little Rock and has been on a rocket ship ever since. After winning 30 games in his first season in Little Rock, he led Texas Tech to the Elite Eight in Year 2 and the national championship game in Year 3. Beard, who will begin his second season at Texas at the age of 49, is poised to play a prominent role on the national stage for quite some time. He receives $4.5 million per season in his current position. With younger coaches like him in college basketball, the game is projected to get more interesting as they use new tactics and introduce new energies. 

8. Bob Huggins – West Virginia

Huggins was elected into the Naismith Hall of Fame this year as the active coach with the second-most victories, behind only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse. Bob, who is in his 16th season at West Virginia, may utilize a successful season to return the Mountaineers on the trajectory they experienced early in his career. At 68 years old, he is paid $4.15 million every season.

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9. Rick Pitino – Iona

Pitino, 69, is the coach at Iona and has formerly coached the NBA’s Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. He made his first mark by guiding Providence to the 1987 Final Four. He subsequently coached two seasons with the New York Knicks before returning to collegiate basketball at Kentucky. In 1996, he guided the Wildcats to the national championship. After a disappointing four-year tenure with the Celtics, he took over at Kentucky’s in-state rival, Louisville, and led the Cardinals to the national championship in 2013. Due to recruiting issues inside the program, the title was eventually revoked. He signed a 10-year, $70 million agreement with the Celtics in 1997, contributing to his worth. He currently receives an estimated salary of $4 million per year.

10. Mike Woodson – Indiana

Woodson is most recognized for his coaching stints with the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association. From 1996 until 2021, the 63-year-old served as an NBA assistant or head coach before becoming Indiana University’s head coach. He is currently paid an average of $3.3 million, closing our top 10 highest-paid college basketball coaches’ list.