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The Highest-Paid College Basketball Coaches in 2023



College basketball has always been one of the most popular sports in the United States. With its high level of competition and passionate fan base, it’s no surprise that NCAA basketball has become a multi-billion dollar industry. The key figure in any program is the head coach of the team. These coaches are responsible for leading their teams to victory, recruiting top talent, and managing the day-to-day operations of the program. However, being a college basketball coach is not just about the love of the game. In fact, it’s a highly lucrative profession that can earn coaches millions of dollars each year. In this article, we will be looking at the top ten highest-paid college basketball coaches.

These coaches have not only achieved incredible success on the court, but they have also negotiated some of the most lucrative contracts in college sports. From legendary coaches with decades of experience to up-and-coming coaches making a name for themselves, this list includes some of the most successful and well-compensated coaches in the business.

So, let’s see who makes the list as we breakdown the top ten highest paid coaches in college basketball.

Top-10 Highest-Paid College Basketball Coaches for March, 2023

  • 1. John Calipari | Kentucky | $8.1 Million
  • 2. Bill Self | Kansas | $6 Million
  • 3. Tom Izzo | Michigan State | $5.7 Million
  • 4. Rick Barnes | Tennessee | $5.45 Million
  • 5. Bruce Pearl | Auburn | $5.4 Million
  • 6. Tony Bennett | Virginia | $4.83 Million
  • 7. Brad Underwood | Illinois | $4. 6 Million
  • 8. Bob Huggins | West Virginia | $4.2 Million
  • T9. Mick Cronin | UCLA | $4.1 Million
  • T9. Buzz Williams | Texas A&M | $4.1 Million

Let’s take a closer look at these high-earners and their coaching careers.

1. John Calipari – Kentucky | $8.1 Million

Top Ten Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches

John Calipari is the highest-paid coach in college basketball in 2023. The Hall of Famer’s salary of over $8 million per year means he earns over $2 million than his nearest coaching colleague.

Calipari is the top-paid coach in college basketball for good reason. He was hired by the Kentucky Wildcats in 2009, and since then has won a national championship, and has four Final Four appearances to his name. However, the last one came way back in 2015. Kentucky fans will be eager for more success in the NCAA tournament over the next few years.

Calipari joined the Wildcats from Memphis where he guided the program to three consecutive Elite Eights, and a national championship game. However, Memphis was forced to vacate its national championship appearance. That wasn’t the first time NCAA violations caught up with Coach Cal. He also had to vacate a Final Four appearance in his first head coaching gig at Massachusetts.

With that being said, Calipari’s tournament record is superb and it shows in his contract. Calipari’s success in the NCAA Tournament has helped him establish him as one of the most successful coaches in college basketball history.

2. Bill Self – Kansas | $6 Million

Top Ten Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches

Coming in as the second highest-paid coach in college basketball is Bill Self of Kansas. Self’s current contract is a rolling five-year deal that automatically adds an extra year to the agreement after each season. He signed this contract on March 31, 2021, after completing his 18th season as head coach.

Self has had extraordinary success in his time with the Jayhawks. He has won two national championships, in 2008 and 2022. Additionally, he has helped Kansas reach the NCAA tournament in every year of his tenure. Included in that are ten Elite Eight and four Final Four appearances.

Self was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017 and is currently ranked 18th for most wins by a Division I college basketball coach.

3. Tom Izzo – Michigan State | $5.7 Million

Top Ten Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches

Tom Izzo is now the longest-serving active coach at the same team in Division I men’s college basketball. Izzo has been the head coach of the Michigan State Spartans since 1995, and during his tenure, he has led the Spartans to eight Final Four appearances and one national championship.

Izzo has also led the Spartans to six Big Ten Tournament championships and ten Big Ten regular season championships.. His success in conference play has helped cement Michigan State’s status as one of the top programs in the country and has made Izzo one of the most respected coaches in college basketball.

Izzo’s success at Michigan State has made him one of the most respected and accomplished coaches in college basketball, and his longevity with the Spartans is a testament to his dedication and success with the program.

4. Rick Barnes – Tennessee | $5.45 Million

Top Ten Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches

Rick Barnes joined Tennessee in 2015 after previously coaching at Texas and Clemson. In 2022, Barnes signed a contract extension that will keep him at Tennessee through the 2026-2027 season. In the 2022/23 season he was the highest-paid state employee in Tennessee with a salary of $5.45 million.

Under Barnes’ leadership, Tennessee has made four  NCAA Tournament appearances. Their best run came in 2019 when the team reached the Sweet Sixteen. Barnes has also led the Volunteers to a regular season SEC championship in 2018 and an SEC tournament championship in 2022.

Overall, Barnes’ success throughout his career has made him a respected coach in the college basketball community and his time at Tennessee has helped elevate the profile of the Volunteers program.

5. Bruce Pearl – Auburn | $5.4 Million

Top Ten Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches

Bruce Pearl joined Auburn in 2014 after previously coaching at Tennessee and Milwaukee. In 2022, Pearl signed an eight-year deal worth over $50 million. His $5.4 million salary in the 2022/23 season is enough to place him at fifth in the top-ten highest paid college basketball coaches.

Under Pearl’s leadership, the Tigers have made several NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Final Four appearance in 2019.

In addition to his success in the NCAA Tournament, Pearl has also led Auburn to several regular season championships in the SEC. In 2022, the Tigers won the SEC Conference regular season championship for the second time under Pearl’s leadership, with a 24-6 overall record and a 14-4 record in conference play.

Pearl is known for his high-energy coaching style and his ability to connect with his players, which has helped him build successful programs at multiple universities.

Bruce Pearl’s success at Auburn has cemented his legacy as one of the top coaches in college basketball, and his leadership has helped position the Tigers as a consistent contender in the SEC and on the national stage.

6. Tony Bennett – Virginia | $4.83 Million

Top Ten Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches

Tony Bennett has been with UVA since 2009. During his tenure at Virginia, Bennett has established himself as one of the most respected coaches in college basketball, known for his defensive-minded approach to the game and his emphasis on teamwork and character.

Under Bennett’s leadership, the Cavaliers have become one of the top programs in college basketball, with numerous NCAA Tournament appearances and a national championship in 2019. Bennett signed his seven-year deal with the Cavaliers the same year and rejected a raise after the team won the national championship.

Bennett’s success at Virginia has earned him numerous accolades, including several ACC Coach of the Year awards and the Naismith Coach of the Year award in 2018 and 2019.

7. Brad Underwood – Illinois | $4.6 Million

Top Ten Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches

Brad Underwood has quickly made his mark at Illinois, leading the team to several successful seasons and earning accolades such as the 2021 Big Ten Coach of the Year award after joining the program in 2017.

Underwood has already led the Illini to a Big Ten tournament win. Additionally, he has won the Big Ten regular season championship in his first six seasons with the program. He will be keen to make a bigger impression in future NCAA tournaments, having only reached the round of 32 twice so far.

He will have plenty of time to do so, having recently signed an extension that runs through the 2027/28 season.

8. Bob Huggins – West Virginia | $4.2 Million

Top Ten Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches

Bob Huggins has had a long and successful coaching career, with over 900 career wins and several NCAA Tournament appearances, including two Final Four appearances in 1992 and 2010.

Huggins had successful spells at Akron, Kansas State, and Cincinnati before heading to WVU in 2007. During his time at Cincinnati, Huggins led the Bearcats to 14 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and a Final Four appearance in 1992. He also won nine conference championships during his tenure at Cincinnati.

During his time at West Virginia, Huggins has led the Mountaineers to multiple NCAA Tournament appearances and one Final Four run in 2010. Additionally, Huggins has won multiple conference championships, including four regular-season titles and three conference tournament titles during his tenure at West Virginia.

Huggins is known for his ability to get the most out of his players. He is also one of the most colorful coaches in college basketball, known for his unique fashion sense.

His current contract with the Mountaineers runs through the end of the 2024 season.

T9. Mick Cronin – UCLA | $4.1 Million

Top Ten Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches

Mick Cronin has been with the UCLA Bruins since 2019. Prior to joining UCLA, Cronin coached at Cincinnati for 13 seasons, where he led the Bearcats to nine NCAA Tournament appearances and won four conference championships.

Cronin’s emphasis on defense has helped him develop successful teams at both Cincinnati and UCLA, and his ability to connect with his players and motivate them to play at their best has made him one of the most respected coaches in college basketball.

Under Cronin’s leadership, UCLA has quickly become a competitive program in the Pac-12 conference, making several deep runs in the NCAA Tournament, including a Final Four appearance in 2021.

The Bruins look set for another deep run in this year’s March Madness tournament after winning the Pac-12 conference regular season championship. Top US sportsbooks believe they are among the favorites to win the national championship.

T9. Buzz Williams – Texas A&M | $4.1 Million

Top Ten Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches

At 50-years-old, Buzz Williams is the youngest head coach on our list of the top-ten highest paid college basketball coaches. He has been at the Texas A&M Aggies since 2019. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Williams coached at Virginia Tech for five seasons, where he led the Hokies to three NCAA Tournament appearances and one Sweet Sixteen run.

Williams is another coach known for his intense coaching style and energy on the sidelines. Under Williams’ leadership, Texas A&M has quickly become a competitive program in the SEC, making strides towards becoming a consistent contender in the conference.

They will enter this year’s NCAA tournament with an impressive 25-8 record and will be looking to make a deep run.

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LSU Tigers Kim Mulkey’s Contract, Salary, & NCAA Bonuses




As the LSU Women’s Basketball team punches their ticket to the Final Four, all eyes are on their head coach, Kim Mulkey. Since joining the program in the 2021/22 season, Mulkey has been a force to be reckoned with, bringing her winning ways to LSU from a highly successful stint at Baylor. With the team’s deep March Madness run, fans and pundits alike are curious about Mulkey’s contract, salary, buyout, and net worth. Let’s take a deep dive into the numbers behind one of the NCAA’s most accomplished coaches.

Kim Mulkey’s Contract and Salary

After a storied tenure at Baylor’s women’s college basketball team, in 2021, Mulkey signed a deal with LSU through the 2029 season, worth over $23 million. Her salary for the 2022/23 season stands at $2.14 million, which includes a $400,000 base salary and supplemental salary, typically used to compensate for media appearances, speaking engagements, and other program-related responsibilities. This salary puts her among the highest paid coaches in women’s college basketball.

But Mulkey’s contract isn’t just about a hefty salary—it’s also loaded with incentives, some of which she’s already unlocked during this epic March Madness run. As the LSU Tigers continue to push forward, Mulkey’s potential bonus earnings continue to climb.

NCAA Tournament Incentives

March Madness bonuses are aggregated, meaning Mulkey earns additional payouts as the team advances through the tournament. So far, she’s collected:

  • NCAA Tournament appearance: $28,000
  • Reaching Round of 32: $30,000
  • Reaching Sweet 16: $33,000
  • Reaching Elite Eight: $38,000
  • Reaching Final Four: $50,000

With these achievements, Mulkey has already earned a total of $179,000 in March Madness bonuses. If the Tigers continue their winning streak, she could potentially collect $225,000 more. The other incentives are as follows:

  • Reaching Championship game: $75,000
  • Winning National Championship: $150,000

If LSU wins the National Championship, Mulkey’s total March Madness earnings would soar to an impressive $404,000. With LSU’s odds of winning the national championship currently at +600, sportsbooks imply a 14.3% probability of the Tigers coming out on top—a sizable opportunity for Mulkey and her team to secure even greater bonuses.

Other Incentives

Mulkey’s contract also includes other incentives, such as:

  • SEC Regular Season champion: $65,000
  • SEC Tournament champion: $35,000
  • Finish the season ranked 1-10 in AP Poll: $30,000
  • Finish the season ranked 11-25 in AP Poll: $25,000
  • SEC Coach of the Year: $10,000
  • National Coach of the Year: $15,000

Additionally, Mulkey can earn up to $13,000 in academic bonuses. Her perks include a $1,000 per month automobile allowance, basketball tickets, and a country club membership.

Kim Mulkey’s Buyout

Compared to other Division I coaches’ contracts, Mulkey’s buyout terms are relatively straightforward. If she is fired, LSU owes her $2 million, while she would owe the university the same amount if she leaves before the contract’s end.

Mulkey’s buyout terms, while simple, are designed to ensure a level of commitment and stability between her and the university. If LSU decides to part ways with Mulkey before her contract expires, the $2 million they owe her serves as a financial safeguard for the accomplished coach.

Conversely, if Mulkey opts to leave LSU prematurely, the $2 million she would owe the university acts as a deterrent, encouraging her to fulfill the contract’s duration and maintain continuity within the program.

Kim Mulkey’s Net Worth

With an estimated net worth of $5 million, Mulkey’s financial success is attributed to her storied coaching career, which includes three national championships and numerous individual awards at Baylor. Her dedication to building winning programs has not only earned her a substantial income but also the admiration and respect of the basketball community.

As Kim Mulkey continues to lead the LSU Tigers through the 2023 March Madness, she’s already proving that the success she achieved at Baylor is replicable in Baton Rouge. With an impressive contract, salary, and incentives on the line, there’s no doubt that Mulkey is poised to continue her winning ways and cement her legacy as one of the NCAA’s top coaches.

Check Out More of Our March Madness College Gambling 2023 Guides

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Shaedon Sharpe scored a career-high 29 points last night




With only eight games left in the regular season, the Portland Trail Blazers will not be making the playoffs this season. A combination of injuries and young talent has held the team back this season. Head coach Chauncey Billups was proud of rookie SG Shaedon Sharpe last night after he scored a career-high 29 points in their loss to the Thunder. 

The seventh overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft has been exceptionally reliable for the Trail Blazers this season. He’s played in 73 of their 74 games this season and has made eight starts. Sharpe has been one of the team’s better three-point shooters this season and might be used more heavily in the final stretch of 2022-23.

NBA betting sites have the Trail Blazers at (+100000) to win the Finals this season.

Sharpe has been a consistent piece of the bench for the Blazers this season

The Trail Blazers played a competitive game yesterday vs the OKC Thunder despite being down most of their usual starters. Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic, Anfernee Simons, and Jerami Grant were all out last night and that’s why rookie Shaedon Sharpe played a team-high 35 minutes last night.

Ten out of eleven possible players were used by Chauncey Billups last night and Sharpe scored a career-high 29 points. He knocked down three of his five three-pointers taken while also collecting five rebounds and three assists. His previous career-high for points was 24.

Head coach Chauncey Billups scored had this to say about Sharpe’s performance vs the Thunder last night.

“I thought he was really good. What people don’t know, Shaedon is really strong, man, really strong. So, he’s able to play defense without using his hands.” – Chauncey Billups

Sharpe has started the last three contests for the Blazers and has scored 24/4/2 in each of those games. If Portland continues to sit their starters like they’ve been doing, Sharpe should get to start for the rest of this season. The Blazers’ next game is tonight vs the New Orleans Pelicans at home.

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LSU Women’s Basketball Star Angel Reese Denies Being NBA YoungBoy’s Girlfriend




As LSU women’s basketball star Angel Reese is on the rise, rumours are starting to fly around her personal life, and finally she’s decided to set the record straight about gossip that she’s dating artist NBA Youngboy.

The six-foot-three athlete finally addressed the subject on her Twitter account stating that she isn’t in a sentimental relationship with the rapper. “I’m not this man GF. Please stop,” she wrote, as you can see in the post below.

Only hours after she demanded the gossip to cease, her own teammates began to troll her about the situation. Freshman star Flau’jae Johnson was the first to bug her about the romantic rumours.

“You know I’m jamming to that Youngboy,” Johnson said after retweeting a clip that showed the Tigers walking into the locker room and listening to one of the rapper’s songs during the NCAA Tournament.

Immediately Reese answered with crying-laughing emojis and writing “Wow @Flaujae. I got sum for you since you wanna play.”

As for the young rapper, he hasn’t spoken about the rumors yet and has maintained his stance just as an observant of the circus built around him and the sophomore athlete.

When did the rumours start? Well, both Reese and NBA Youngboy recently participated in an Instagram Live together, that stirred up all the speculation around them.

The “NBA” in his artist name stands for “Never Broke Again” and his real name is Kentrell DeSean Gaulden.

The 20-year-old athlete is considered a top-five player in the United States. After two seasons in Maryland, Reese took her talents to LSU in the offseason, and is now breaking records as she goes.

Reese sent message to Miami’s Cavinder twins and rapper Lil’ Wayne is in the middle of it

Reese is currently breaking records for the most double-doubles in her division’s history, as she’s also averaging 23.8 points and 15.7 rebounds per match. Last week she recorded two double-doubles during both the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight stages of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, taking LSU for the first time in year’s to March Madness’ Final Four.

However, besides playing basketball, these young athletes are also spending time chatting with celebrities and getting the recognition they deserve. Last week, Miami’s Cavinder twins tweeted a photo FaceTiming with Lil Wayne after the Hurricanes beat Villanova.

But days later, the rapper gave Reese a shoutout on Twitter on Friday night, as he’s also supporting LSU.

“I’m on him because he’s from New Orleans and he called them before he called us,” Reese said this weekend before the Elite Eight clash against the Hurricanes. “So luckily he did tweet it out last night. Hopefully he comes to the game.”

After she scored 13 points and won 18 rebounds against Miami this Sunday, she took it to social media to shove it in the Cavinder twin’s faces.

As her team beat the Miami Hurricanes this past Sunday, she also thanked her coach for their success. “We worked so hard, and we did everything that coach Mulkey said,” Angel Reese said, as they are headed to Dallas to the semifinals. “And now look at us!”

Now the Tigers enter March Madness’ Final Four, and will face the winner between No. 1 Virginia Tech vs. No. 3 Ohio State to be played tonight March 27 at 9:00pm (ET). 

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