Top NCAA Division I Football, Basketball Coaches Taking Pay Cuts

News of salary cuts among athletics staffs has rolled in over the last week as the threat of program cuts and longterm financial hardship looms over college sports. Absent among many announcements was confirmation that schools’ highest-paid coaches would share in the cuts, but some schools have now shared that their top personnel will indeed be included in plans to mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to implementing pay cuts and furloughs, a number of Division I conferences had requested that the NCAA drop its minimum sport requirement. That proposal was rejected, providing momentary relief for the future of Olympic sports programs.

Perhaps most prominently, University of Kansas head men’s basketball coach Bill Self, head football coach Les Miles, and athletic director Jeff Long will take 10% pay cuts for the next six months, totaling about $500,000 in savings, the university announced. Similarly, Louisville head men’s basketball coach Chris Mack will give up 10% of his $4 million contract, and head football coach Scott Satterfield will do the same to his $3.25 million contract.

Minnesota head football coach P.J. Fleck, who was set to make $4.5 million this year, and head men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino will be among the roughly 200 university employees taking voluntary one-weeks furloughs.

Wake Forest head football coach Dave Clawson is taking a 10% pay cut, but the university fired head basketball coach Danny Manning, who is reportedly owed a $15 million buyout.

Washington State athletic director Pat Chun, head football coach Nick Rolovich and head men’s basketball coach Kyle Smith will all take voluntary 5% pay cuts through the end of the 2020-21 academic year.

Last week, we reported that all Boise State employees making over $40,000 a year will take furloughs of varying lengths — up to 10 days for those making 150,000 or more, like its head football and basketball coaches.

Though the schools don’t have swim programs, the highest-paid coaches at Syracuse and Oregon State will also be taking pay cuts. Syracuse head basketball coach Jim Boeheim and head football coach Dino Babers will take 10% pay cuts, while Oregon State football coach Jonathan Smith and men’s basketball coach Wayne Tinkle are donating 7% of their salaries back to the athletic department.

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8 months ago

Excellent give back plan!

Big Kicker
8 months ago

I sure hope they survive, not sure what I’d do if mine dipped under 3 million

Reply to  Big Kicker
8 months ago

Great comment! These guys all did something good for their departments that they didn’t have to do, let’s be sure to give them s*** for it.

What is it about this sport that we always have to be fighting people? Even when they do good things?

Reply to  stopit,swimming
8 months ago

Swimming has a Napoleon complex

Reply to  Big Kicker
8 months ago

When’s the last time a crowd of 80,000 people attended a swim meet every weekend?

8 months ago


About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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