How much are college sports coaches paid?
It pays extremely well to be a college coach. On the campuses of major athletic conferences, the football and basketball head coaches are the highest paid school employees and it’s not even close. At public universities, these coaches are the highest paid employees in 40 of 50 states.
Some of the compensation packages are mind-boggling, as Nick Saban and Jim Harbaugh make over $7 million a year and Coach K, Mike Krzyzewski, makes a whopping $9.7 million per season.
These giant sums of money are particularly eye-opening because these coaches make so much while their players make nothing.
College coaches earn more than players receive in scholarships
Power-5 coaches make more than the sum of all athletic scholarships for every sport. The 535 Power-5 coaches made a total of $440 million while their institutions only handed out $426 million in scholarships to 20,000 players, according to a CNNMoney analysis . On average, these coaches make $823,000 per year while a student-athlete only receives roughly $20,000 per year in aid.
Given these numbers, it’s easy to see why many people believe scholarship student-athletes are exploited by the NCAA. Very few professional athletes make less than their coaches and the stars make much, much more.
Football is the cash cow
Top college basketball coaches are paid similarly to football coaches, but their teams bring in a lot less money. Louisville, the most profitable basketball program, brought in $40 million in revenue and posted $24 million in profits during the 2013-2014 school year while Texas, the most profitable football program, brought in $121 million with $92 million in profit in 2015. Louisville’s basketball profits would not even qualify it as one of the top-20 most profitable football programs.
Wide margin in profits between Division I programs
Only 123 of the 346 or a little more than one-third of Division I men’s basketball programs are profitable. The remaining 223 teams either barely broke even or finished in the red. Some Power-5 basketball programs are not profitable, as Oregon State posted a loss of $3 million last year, the most of any school. Despite their futility on the.
Non-revenue sports pay much less
Other than basketball, few if any sports are profitable and the coaching salaries are much less. At Michigan State, the baseball program does not make any money and the head coach is only paid a little over $150,000. For women’s sports, basketball can make money and some of the coaches are well compensated, but many women’s coaches do not make six figures.
College football and basketball coaches are paid very handsomely, especially at Power-5 programs, while coaches at smaller schools and non-revenue sports are not exactly rolling in the dough. However, all college coaches are still doing better than their players who do not make any money from their play.