Mike Krzyzewski Leads List of Top-Paid College Basketball Coaches

R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IApril 3, 2014

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski speaks to players against Mercer during the first half of an NCAA college basketball second-round game, Friday, March 21, 2014, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton

Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, one of the longest-tenured and most successful coaches in the history of the sport, is also being paid like the Hall of Famer that he is.   

Krzyzewski earned $9,682,032 from the Blue Devils during the 2013-14 season, according to USA Today, which makes him the highest-paid coach in the sport. The closest in annual earnings was Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, who racked up $5,758,338 with the Cardinals.

Along with Pitino, John Calipari of Kentucky, Bill Self of Kansas and Billy Donovan of Florida round out the top five on the list. Both Calipari and Donovan will play this weekend in the Final Four, while Pitino and Self had early exits similar to Duke in the NCAA tournament.

Paul Myerberg of USA Today provides a pretty interesting comparison with another coach for the Blue Devils:

Mike Krzyzewski made $7,889,747 more than David Cutcliffe during the 2013-14 year.

— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) April 2, 2014

While Coach K's team was ousted in the NCAA tournament in the round of 64 by Mercer this season—the second time that's happened in the last three years—David Cutcliffe has turned around the Duke football program with two straight bowl appearances.

Speaking of football coaches, the highest paid in the college ranks is Nick Saban, according to USA Today. Saban pulls in a total of $5,545,852 annually with the Alabama football team.

As for any indicator that Krzyzewski might be on the way out the door in the future, Laura Keeley of the News & Observer provides analysis of the 67-year-old coach:

Steve Wojciechowski leaving is yet another indicator that Mike Krzyzewski has more than a few years left in him. Said at least 5 last week

— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) April 1, 2014

These numbers also mean good news for fans of Duke, as Coach K has been courted in the past by teams like the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Krzyzewski spoke about those reports back when they were still swirling, per ESPN.com:

Your heart has to be in whatever you lead. It became apparent that this decision was somewhat easier to make because you have to follow your heart and lead with it and Duke has always taken up my whole heart.

The decision has always been to stay at Duke. It would have to be something changing [that].

With four national championships in hand, Krzyzewski is still one of the best in the sport with a chance to win a title every season. Coach K's teams are always at the top of the ACC, but have been bounced early from the NCAA tournament regularly in recent years after winning it all in 2009-10.

Next season, Krzyzewski has already put together the best recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. Coach K is bringing in three 5-star recruits in Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow.

Those prospects, along with the possibility of Jabari Parker returning in 2014-15, per Chad Ford of ESPN, mean that Duke will once again put one of the best teams in the country on the court.

Needless to say, the Blue Devils are getting what they paid for.


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