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

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.

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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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But one of those basketball coaches is at a school without a football team, Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall. He is making $3 million from the university this season, and that amount will jump to $3.5 million annually beginning in 2018.

Calipari — who recently signed a two-year contract extension that runs through March 2024 — is scheduled to see his pay from Kentucky continue climbing during the next few years to $8 million a year. It is set to remain at that amount for each of the deal’s final six years, although Kentucky has agreed to review it in June 2022.


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