Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll Top List of Highest-Paid Coaches in U.S. Sports

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVNovember 17, 2021

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick applauds towards his players on the field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick tops Sportico's list of the top 25 highest-paid coaches in American sports released Wednesday.

Sportico's Lev Akabas tweeted the list, which is largely dominated by football coaches:

Lev Akabas @LevAkabas

Some nuggets from <a href="https://twitter.com/kbadenhausen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kbadenhausen</a>'s Top 25 highest-paid coaches in US sports<br><br>- 17๐Ÿˆ, 8 ๐Ÿ€, but 0๐Ÿ’ and 0 โšพ๏ธ (nobody is even close)<br>- Kyle Shanahan is the highest-paid coach in sports without a title <br>- Just 2 black coaches on the entire list<br><br>Read more: <a href="https://t.co/aSFoyhW2Rm">https://t.co/aSFoyhW2Rm</a> <a href="https://t.co/J3Z0E89D7q">pic.twitter.com/J3Z0E89D7q</a>

Belichick, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid occupy the top four spots.

Other football coaches in the top 10 are Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers), Nick Saban (Alabama), Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M) and Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers).

It is difficult to argue with Belichick's placement on the list and his salary of $18 million. He has led the Pats to six Super Bowl wins and 17 playoffs appearances during his 22 years at the helm, making him arguably the greatest head coach in NFL history.

Belichick also serves as the Patriots' de facto general manager, which adds to his immense value even more.

Similar to Belichick, Saban has seven career national championships as the head coach at LSU and Alabama, and he is the first non-professional head coach on the list at No. 7 with an annual salary of $10.7 million.

The only non-football coaches in the top 10 reside in the NBA, and they are among the greatest coaches in the history of their sport as well.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is essentially the Belichick of the NBA, having guided the Spurs to five championships and 22 playoff appearances in 26 seasons.

Popovich is fifth on the list with a salary of $11.5 million, while Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who has won three titles with the Dubs, is 10th with a salary of $9.5 million.

Of the 25 coaches on the list, 17 of them are from football and eight of them are from basketball, leaving baseball, hockey and soccer on the outside looking in.

Eighteen of the 25 listed coaches have won at least one championship and all but two of them have a winning record.

Shanahan is the top coach in the rankings without a championship or a winning record with a $9.5 million salary that places him ninth, although he did take San Francisco to the Super Bowl two seasons ago.

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule, who is 16th with a salary of $8.6 million, is the other losing coach with an NFL record of 10-16. It should be noted, however, that Rhule went 47-43 collegiately as the head coach at Temple and Baylor.

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer is 14th on the list at $9 million and has a losing record in this his first season as an NFL head coach, but he won three national titles collegiately at Florida and Ohio State.

The biggest outlier on the list is Kentucky's John Calipari, who is the only college basketball coach inside the top 25.

Coach Cal is 15th with a salary of $8.6 million, has one national championship to his credit and has won 77 percent of his games as a college head coach.

One of the most notable aspects of the list is the lack of Black head coaches, with just two inside the top 25.

Tomlin is sixth with an average salary of $11.5 million, while Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers is 17th at $8.5 million.

It has long been a struggle for Black coaching candidates to receive opportunities in the NFL, which was the impetus for the implementation of the Rooney Rule in 2003, which requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for coaching vacancies.

Tomlin, David Culley (Houston Texans) and Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins) are the only Black head coaches in the NFL currently, while Ron Rivera (Washington Football Team) and Robert Saleh (New York Jets) are also minority head coaches.