Georgetown’s head coach John Thompson hugs Patrick Ewing after the Hoyas defeated Houston 84-75 to win the NCAA National Championship on April 2, 1984 in Seattle. 30 years ago today, Thompson became the first black coach to win the NCAA basketball tournament and Ewing was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. (Georgetown University/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)
Jimmy Graham played in the NCAA Tournament as a junior with Miami in 2008, when the No. 7 Hurricanes played Texas to a close 75-72 loss in the second round after eliminating St. Mary’s. Graham finished with 15 points off the bench in the two games and brought his dunking ability to the NFL as part of his touchdown celebrations, much like Tony Gonzalez, but the NFL has ruled against such celebrations next season. (Richard C. Lewis/Icon SMI; Al Tielemans/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.
Boston University junior forward Matt Lane celebrates his goal against the University of Minnesota Duluth in the NCAA Northeast Regional Final. The Terriers won 3-2 and advance to the Frozen Four for the first time since 2009.
The 14th-seeded Mercer Bears stunned the No. 3 Duke Blue Devils, 78-71, today. Jakob Gollon (20) led Mercer with 20 points, shooting 9-for-9 on free throws, while Duke’s freshman star Jabari Parker struggled, turning the ball over four times. Mercer scored 11 straight points during a late 20-5 run that clinched the biggest victory in school history. (Simon Bruty/SI)