UCLA Bruins and Arizona Wildcats Make ESPN's Top 10 Basketball Coaching Jobs

Max RogersCorrespondent IJune 8, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 08:  Head coach Ben Howland of the UCLA Bruins reacts in the first half as the Bruins take on the Arizona Wildcats during the quarterfinals of the 2012 Pacific Life Pac-12 basketball tournament at Staples Center on March 8, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

What do sports analysts do in the off-season? They make rankings of just about anything. One recent ESPN ranking should be a little comforting to Pac-12 basketball fans after the conference's underachievement this past season. That is ESPN’s top 10 college basketball coaching jobs ranking, in which both the UCLA Bruins and the Arizona Wildcats made the cut.

Earlier this week ESPN ranked every high-major college basketball coaching job in the country. They also named the best and worst mid-major jobs. Yes, the Pac-12 was included with the high-major jobs (I’ve heard the joke a million times about the Pac-12 being a mid-major with how the conference performed last year). 

The ESPN rankings took the following criteria into consideration: facilities, expectation level, athletic budget, wins and losses, recruiting base, fan support/pressure and basically any factors determined to be important for being the “best” jobs in college basketball coaching.


The ESPN Pac-12 coaching job rankings broke down as:


No. 12: WSU

No. 11: OSU

No. 10: Utah

No. 9: ASU

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the first half while taking on the Oregon State Beavers in the semifinals of the 2012 Pacific Life Pac-12 men's basketball tournament at Staples Center on March 9, 2012
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

No. 8: Colorado

No. 7: USC

No. 6: Stanford

No. 5: Oregon

No. 4: Cal

No. 3: Washington

No. 2: Arizona

No. 1: UCLA


ESPN then asked its same panelist to rank the overall top 10 coaching jobs in college basketball, and UCLA and Arizona made that list. With honorable mentions going to teams like Michigan State, Texas, Connecticut and Florida these two Pac-12 teams beat out some tough competition.


The ESPN overall top 10 coaching jobs ranking broke down as:

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 16:  Head coach Roy Williams looks on from the bench against the Vermont Catamounts during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 16, 2012 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images


No. 10: Arizona

No. 9: Louisville

No. 8: Ohio State

No. 7: Syracuse

No. 6: Duke

No. 5: Indiana

No. 4: UCLA

No. 3: Kansas

No. 2: Kentucky

No. 1: UNC


So what is a top 10 coaching job worth? Obviously more than money, but let’s take a look at the financial side with coaching salaries. For the two Pac-12 coaches in the top 10 (Arizona’s Sean Miller and UCLA’s Ben Howland) that number is reportedly around the $2 million mark. 

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Head coach Lorenzo Romar of the Washington Huskies reacts during the final minutes of overtime during his teams game against the Minnesota Golden Golphers during the semifinals of the NIT men's basketball championship at Madison S
Jason Szenes/Getty Images

To give a comparison, ESPN’s No. 1 coaching job in college basketball pays UNC’s Roy Williams a comparable albeit slightly lower amount. The No. 3 coaching job on the ESPN Pac-12 coaching job list, Washington, paid Lorenzo Romar reportedly around $1.3 million in 2011. Romar's salary was very close to the average salary made in 2011 ($1.4 million) by public university coaches that made the NCAA basketball tournament. 

The highest paid salary on the ESPN top 10 coaching jobs list reportedly went to No. 9 Louisville in 2011 thanks to a one time $3.6 million bonus paid in July 2010. In 2011 Louisville's Rick Pitino held the No. 1 position by bringing in a university base salary of $7.5 million and with non-university funds reportedly took home over $8.9 million. That was more than twice the amount of the No. 2 coach on that list, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, who reportedly brought in a total pay of around $4.2 million in 2011.

As USA Today and ESPN have pointed out these numbers don't always include everything including bonuses, benefits and various other items depending on how they are compiled. For example ESPN cites Krzyzewski's 2010-11 tax return, which suggest the coach made $8.9 million that year when other factors were included. Therefore, interpretation of the reported numbers should be made with some caution, as they may not be including the whole picture. 

You can view the entire USA Today 2011 college basketball coaching salary list by clicking here.