Opinion: March Madness – Want to get into coaching?

If you are looking for a career change, you might consider college basketball coaching.


Have you ever thought changing jobs? Have you ever aspired to be a college basketball coach? Now is a great time to get your resume together.

John Calipari is the University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach. His pay this year is over $8 million. He has a lifetime contract worth 86 million dollars. In the eyes of the basketball world the UK basketball coaching job has been one of the most desired jobs in college sports. However, big pay doesn’t come easy Calipari has led Kentucky to one NCAA Championship, four final fours and he has had 26 twenty-win game seasons throughout his career. Although this year his 9 wins and 16 losses hasn’t gone over too well with many of Kentucky’s fans

While Calipari is the highest paid college basketball coach there are others who do very well. Mike Krzyzewski of Duke will earn $7 million this season. Jay Wright of Villanova will earn $6 million. Chris Beard of Texas Tech is scheduled to earn $5,050.00. Rick Barnes of Tennessee will earn $4,950.00. Roy Williams of North Carolina will earn up to $4 million. Tom Izzo of Michigan State will earn $3,984.00. And, the list goes on. Chris Mack, Louisville, $4 million. Brad Underwood, Illinois, $4 million. Larry Krystkowiak, Utah, $3,961.519. Bob Huggins, West Virginia $4,050.000. UCLA coach Mike Cronin $3,600.00. Scott Drew of Baylor $3,350,000. There are 50-60 college coaches making $2 million a year but it does drop for many others. Kyle Smith of Washington State makes $1.4 million. Steve Alford for Nevada is making $500,000. Johnny Jones of Texas Southern will be paid $250,000.

Rick Pitino who came back from coaching professional basketball in Greece will earn just over $1 million dollars at Iona. This is a far cry from the $70 million-dollar contract he had with the Boston Celtics. His package had also reached over $5 million per year before he left Louisville.

The list of coaches is too long to name them all with many more making between $1 million to over $2 million per year. There are many, many coaches making much smaller salaries.


The point is, if you are looking for a career change you might consider college basketball coaching. Brad Stevens wanted to be a coach. He went to Butler in Indiana to be a volunteer in the Bulldog’s program. He became the assistant coach and then a very successful head coach. Butler moved him from free to over $1 million per year by the time he left. Today he now makes over $3.6 million per year as the head coach of the Boston Celtics. Not bad for starting out as a volunteer. So, find a job waiting tables to feed yourself. Volunteer for a good basketball program. Work very hard. Earn yourself an assistant’s job and you might end up coaching a great basketball program and making several million a year.

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Contact Dr. Glenn Mollette at Learn more at Like his facebook page at

Glenn Mollette
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I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with numerous job titles since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently as Digital Editor. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work these 30+ years. I was present and worked on the our web page when our original website first went live on April 26, 1994.
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