Coaches turn titles into green

Originally Published: May 17, 2007
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Billy Donovan's decision to turn down a contract extension (including a pay raise) from Florida after winning the national title in 2006 was, let's just say, extremely rare.

You see, over the past 10 years, winning a national title almost guarantees a head coach a raise and more job security.

Donovan had all of that in 2006, when he chose to keep his deal after his sophomore class decided to stay in school instead of going for millions in the NBA.

"It's rare and any coach that has success and a school that wants to reward a coach and for him not to do it is rare," Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said Friday. "That showed how sensitive he is and respects [his players] for what they did [staying in school] and that's why they were all in it together and it shows how much chemistry they had and the relationships they had are hard to come by and shows the type of relationship Billy had with those guys. That's why they won it."

So now that Donovan has won two straight titles, withdrew from the Kentucky search and chose not to actively pursue NBA openings (as of now), the major money is coming his way: a seven-year deal worth an average of more than $3.5 million per year, according to an ESPN.com report Thursday. Foley wouldn't comment on the report, only to say a deal isn't imminent. He said the two sides are working on a new deal and an announcement will come when it's done (maybe next month).

"I can't think of one [coach] that didn't get a bump or an extension," Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood said Friday when asked how often a coach earns a raise or extension after winning a title.

"If you go back and look at the last 10 years, these weren't coaches just walking in for their first job," Livengood said. "It's a reward and obviously you're recognizing and appreciating what the person has done. You're also trying to tell them that there aren't greener pastures."

Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, who received a bump and extension after winning the 1999 and 2004 national titles, said a school is rewarding a head coach just like a company would a great salesman.

"You want to keep and maintain the people doing the job," Calhoun said Friday. "People shouldn't find it unusual. These aren't rec programs. These are programs that have budgets of $54 million. They are self-sufficient. [Head coaches] are being treated like every other part of society, and I think that's as well it should be. You don't want to lose talented people. It also says to young coaches that you can make money in coaching."

That's for sure. Here is a look at the coaches who won last 10 national championships, and the salary raises they received following their titles:

1997
Lute Olson, Arizona
New deal: Yes
Livengood said Friday that Olson received a new five-year deal. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

1998
Tubby Smith, Kentucky
New deal: No
Smith was operating under his original contract signed in 1997. According to Kentucky, his next new deal was an eight-year contract signed in 2003, with the potential to be extended to 2013. The salary increased from $1.55 million in 2003 to a possible $2.175 million in 2011.

1999
Jim Calhoun, Connecticut
New deal: Yes
In December 1999, Calhoun picked up a significant bump in pay, from $335,978 to $875,000. This was one of the biggest jumps in Calhoun's salary during his Connecticut career.

2000
Tom Izzo, Michigan State
New deal: Yes
His base salary increased from $195,000 to $267,000, and his supplemental salary was boosted from $90,000 to $300,000. He also received a summer camp increase from $75,000 to $133,000 and the contract terms changed from a rolling five-year to a rolling seven-year deal. There was an additional added revenue increase from $165,000 to $200,000, according to Michigan State.

2001
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke
New deal: Yes
Krzyzewski received what was termed a "lifetime" contract from Duke, technically extending it to 2011. Financial terms weren't disclosed at the time. The new deal came on the heels of Krzyzewski's induction into the Hall of Fame.

2002
Gary Williams, Maryland
New deal: Yes
Williams received a new deal in the fall of 2002 that extended his contract by one year, to 2009. Financial terms weren't disclosed. He received another new contract in 2005-06 that extended his deal until 2013. His salary was a guaranteed $1.6 million and with incentives could reach $2.3 million. He also received a new contract after his first Final Four in 2001: a seven-year deal that went through 2008.

2003
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse
New deal: No
The university, which is a private institution and not required to disclose the terms of coaches' contracts, has made only one public announcement in the past 10 years regarding Boeheim: in May 2005, it announced that Boeheim received a four-year extension to his contract, which had two years remaining.

2004
Jim Calhoun, Connecticut
New deal: Yes
Calhoun received a new six-year deal that pushed his contract through 2010. Calhoun's salary increases from $1.2 million in 2003-04 through 2007-08 to $1.6 million in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

2005
Roy Williams, North Carolina
New deal: Received the same raise other state employees did that year.
Williams signed an eight-year deal when he arrived in Chapel Hill in 2003-04. This past week he received a new contract that will keep him in North Carolina through the 2014-15 season. The new contract averages out to $2.11 million per year, plus a Nike deal (which isn't disclosed) as well as incentives that are capped at $107,250 per year.

2006
Billy Donovan, Florida
New deal: No
A deal was on the table for Donovan but he declined to sign the contract after Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer all committed to return for their junior seasons.

2007
Billy Donovan, Florida
New deal: Yes
Donovan withdrew his name from consideration at Kentucky and opted to remain at Florida last month. The final details are being worked out on a deal that ESPN.com reported could average more than $3.5 million per year for seven years.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com