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USA TODAY Sports’ Dan Wolken explains the new methods Division I schools are using to hire head coaches who can revolutionize their basketball programs.
USA TODAY Sports

College basketball has two coaches earning more than $7 million in the same season for the first time since USA TODAY Sports began tracking coaches compensation.

Rick Pitino of the University of Louisville and John Calipari of Kentucky are above $7.4 million in USA TODAY Sports’ annual survey of the compensation paid to coaches whose schools participated in the 68-team NCAA tournament.

Calipari is making more than $7.1 million in basic compensation from the university, Pitino nearly $5.1 million. Both also reported having had significant income from outside sources that was related to their employment by the schools. Pitino’s non-university amount included $2.25 million that he received under a personal-services contract with Adidas, the shoe-and-apparel company that outfits Louisville’s teams.

What NCAA Tournament coaches make:  Salary database

Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski has been credited with more than $7 million three times in recent years on the private school’s federal tax records, but those filings involve a separate way of reporting compensation figures.

Though Calipari is now making more from his school on an annual basis than are each of the two most highly paid football coaches, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Alabama’s Nick Saban, football coaches are better paid on the whole. At least 36 football coaches were making more than $3 million this past season. Including coaches whose teams didn’t make the NCAA tournament, there were less than half that number at that level in basketball this season.

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