Bob Knight and Mike Krzyzewski sit on the bench during the 1979 Pan American games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Coach K got his 1,000th career victory today with Duke’s 77-68 win over St. John’s, the first Division I men’s coach to reach that mark. (Manny Millan/SI)
College coaches are the highest paid state employees in 40 states … and by a pretty substantial margin. So what exactly do the states receive in return for laying out all of that taxpayer dough? It’s debatable. Former UConn Head Coach Jim Calhoun was as unapologetic over receiving millions from Connecticut while the state was in crisis as he was about leaving the UConn basketball program in tatters and the dismal graduation rate (under 30 percent) of his players.
In terms of handsome payouts, Second Round Loser Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski leads the pack at over 9.5 million a year.
John Calipari, who USA Today dubbed “the worldwide leader in Final Four asterisks,” has the dubious distinction of having two vacated titles under his belt. The first one was after he took UMass to the Final Four in 1996 and then again with Memphis in 2008. The NCAA expunged both teams Final Four appearances and 42 wins from the record books. If you thought this type of record would prevent him from moving on to another NCAA Division I team, jokes on you. The Kentucky Wildcats couldn’t wait to throw millions at Calipari to tie his style of success to their institute of higher learning. And these savvy coaches have built into their contracts that even if they fail or break the rules, the money will keep rolling in.