How Much Does A College Basketball Coach Make?

The salaries of college basketball coaches vary greatly depending on a few different factors. Some of these factors include how much experience the coach has, the size of the school they are coaching at, and how successful their team is. According to ZipRecruiter, when all coaches are taken into account, the average salary is around $46,000. Some of the more experienced coaches at bigger schools, such as Bill Self, can make millions of dollars.

Larger vs Smaller Schools Basketball Coaching Salaries

The size of the school is an important factor when determining a college basketball coach’s salary. Coaches who coach a Division I school (largest size) will make more than a coach at a Division II school (medium size) or Division III school (smallest size). To illustrate this point, the highest salary for a Division II men’s coach was recently found to be $110,000. By comparison, the smallest salary for a Division I men’s coach was found to be $250,000. 

This drastic difference is even more evident when looking at differences among Division I head coaches. While the minimum salary was $250,000 for Johnny Jones at Texas Southern University, the maximum salary in 2021-22 in Division I was Bill Self at the University of Kansas, who made a little over $10 million. Self has won two national championships and coaches at a school in Kansas that has an enrollment of just under 28,000 students. Comparatively, Jones hasn’t won any national championships, and Texas Southern has an enrollment size of about 7,500. Clearly, school size and team success can have a big impact on a coach's salary. Furthermore, the differences between men’s and women’s college basketball coaches at similar schools are interesting to note.

Men’s vs Women’s Basketball Coaching Salaries

While there is still a gap between men’s coaches and women’s coaches, the pay of women’s coaches has been increasing over the past ten years. In the 2011-12 season, the average salary for a women’s college basketball Division I coach at some of the top schools was $700,000. At those same schools, the average was about $900,000 in 2021-22. That being said, there is still a gap, especially when it comes to the top coaches in each sport. The highest-paid coach in women’s college basketball is Geno Auriemma. Geno made about $2.9 million in 2021-22. Obviously, this is a long way off from the $10 million salary of Bill Self. This is despite the fact that Geno has won 11 national championships and has won over 88% of his games. Self is not an outlier in the men’s game either. This past season, the top 37 men’s college basketball coaches’ salaries were higher than Geno’s. Clearly, while women’s college basketball salaries are on the rise, there is still a long way to go before they are on an equal playing field with their counterparts on the men’s side.

Highest Paid Men’s Coaches

Top-Five Men’s College Basketball Coach Salaries (2021-22):

Bill SelfKansas$10,184,282
John CalipariKentucky$8,602,306
Tom IzzoMichigan State$8,341,321
Mike KrzyzewskiDuke$7,353,496
Jay WrightVillanova$6,192,252

Highest Paid Women’s Coaches

Top-Five Women’s College Basketball Coach Salaries (2021-22):

Geno AuriemmaConnecticut$2,900,000
Dawn StaleySouth Carolina$2,700,000
Kim MulkeyLouisiana State$2,639,625
Vic SchaeferTexas$1,800,000
Jeff WalzLouisville$1,525,000


Who is the highest-paid college basketball coach ever?

The college basketball coach who has the highest net worth ever is Mike Krzyzewski, with a net worth of around $45 million. Nicknamed “Coach K,” he retired after coaching the Army West Point men’s college basketball team from 1975-1979 and the Duke University men’s college basketball team from 1980-2022. He ranks first all-time in wins for a Division I college basketball head coach with 1,202 wins between both schools.

Do college coaches get a bonus for winning March Madness?

College basketball coaches do receive a bonus when their team wins the NCAA tournament. Coaches will always have an incentive in their contract for postseason success, and it is not just for winning the championship. In 2021-22, Bill Self received $200,000 when Kansas won the men’s NCAA tournament, along with $50,000 for qualifying for the tournament, $100,000 for being one of the final 16 teams, and $150,000 for being one of the Final Four teams. 

How much does a D1 assistant college basketball coach make?

In 2021, the salary for the average assistant college basketball coach in Division I was about $57,000. Like head coaches, however, this number can vary greatly depending on the coach's experience and what school they are at. For example, in 2017, Kenny Payne made $805,000 as an assistant coach for the Kentucky men’s basketball team. Payne would go on to become an assistant coach for the New York Knicks of the NBA, showing how valuable he is viewed in the basketball world.