UNLV’s New Head Swim Coach Pat Ota Receives Six-Figure Base Salary, Plus Incentives

UNLV will pay its new head swimming & diving coach Pat Ota a base salary of $105,000 in the 2024-2025 season, which will grow annually across his three year contract.

Ota’s Year-by-Year Base Salary

  • 2024-2025: $105,000
  • 2025-2026: $107,500
  • 2026-2027: $111,000

That puts him in a similar range to outgoing head coach Ben Loorz, who had a base salary of $114,500 for the 2023-2024 season, his last of 8 seasons leading the Rebels.

Ota’s agreement comes with up to $15,000-per-year of incentive payments too.

  • For each conference team title won, Ota receives $3,500
  • For each Coach of the Year award he wins, he receives $2,000
  • Every student-athlete who qualifies for the NCAA Championships earns Ota a $2,500 bonus
  • For every student-athlete who wins an individual NCAA title, Ota receives a $5,000 bonus (not subject to maximum)
  • For each team finishing in the top 20 at NCAAs, Ota receives a $4,000 bonus
  • For each team finishing in the top 10 at NCAAs, Ota receives a $5,000 bonus
  • If the team wins an NCAA title, he receives a $25,000 bonus
  • Academic incentives include $750 for achieving an APR score of 980 or greater, and for achieving a team GPA of 3.0 or above for the entire academic year.

Ota also receives perks such as season tickets to all home varsity athletic events and use of a car.

Ota also owns the rights, for as long as he is head coach, to the Rebel Swim Camp program.

UNLV regularly qualifies student-athletes for the NCAA Championships; last year, they had two women, Ruby Howell and Blanka Bokros, qualify, though neither scored.

Last year’s results would have seen Ota earn north of $11,000 in bonuses.

Ota’s buyout is $75,000 in years 1 and 2 of the contract if he leaves for a Power 5 head coaching position and goes to $55,000 in year 3; if he leaves for a Group of 5 head coaching position, the buyout is $30,000 in the first two years and goes to $20,000 in year 3.

Ota’s previous roles at UNLV have included being associate head coach as well as head assistant coach. Since coming to Las Vegas in 2016, Ota has helped lead the Scarlet & Gray to five conference championships, including the men’s team’s fourth consecutive Western Athletic Conference title with a meet points record this past spring and the women’s squad’s 2021 Mountain West crown.

As a member of the UNLV coaching staff, Ota has helped produce a combined 73 WAC and MW individual and relay champions, 35 school records and six conference records. Additionally, the Rebels have seen eight individuals and three relay teams qualify for the NCAA Championships, three individuals reach the U.S. Olympic Trials and one student-athlete (Vuk Celic) go on to compete in the Olympics during his time on campus.

Last season, the UNLV women finished 2nd out of 9 teams at the Mountain West Conference Championships, led in part by a conference record from senior Blanka Bokros in the 200 fly that continued a three-year win streak.

She and fellow senior Ruby Howell both qualified for the NCAA Championships, though only Bokros is listed as a 5th year on UNLV’s roster for next season.

The men’s team won their 4th-straight WAC title, meanwhile, and set a new conference points record of 972 in the process. That surpassed their own 2021 record of 907 points.

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Go Blue
9 days ago

College Coaching is a joke of pay. Soon, it will be just like HS coaches as Teachers in the classroom with swim coaching as a hobby.

Anthony Randall
9 days ago

Congrats to Coach OTA and looking forward to seeing the continued success of both Rebels programs.

10 days ago

Congrats to him for this if he is happy with it. I for one can not figure out why so many coaches get into college coaching first as an assistant for who knows how long earning peanuts (and trying to support a family), and then hoping to break into a Head Coach position earning more. College coaching is far more complicated than it was twenty years ago.
There was a time I wanted that, but am grateful I chose the club path. Yes, parents have their downside, but if you communicate well, not an issue. Between teaching High School and being the Head Coach of my club, I bring home 175k a year. Less stress than many of my… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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