John Calipari Salary: How Much Does Kentucky Coach Make?

John Calipari salary contract Kentucky

Getty Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari

John Calipari holds the keys to one of the most well-respected college basketball programs in the country. And after 10 years of continued success with the Kentucky Wildcats basketball program, it’s not surprising to see that he’s paid like the most elite coach as well.

While there are some high-profile and excellent coaches across the college basketball landscape, Calipari’s career with the Wildcats and overall record has earned him a hefty contract. As things currently stand, the Kentucky head coach ranks as the highest-paid among college coaches, and it’s not all that close either.

John Calipari’s Kentucky Contract vs. Top College Coaches

USA Today released a list of the highest-paid coaches and Calipari makes more than $2 million more than the next-closest coach. He comes in with a total pay of $9,276,643, with Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski at $7,048,206. Beyond that, there is no coach within $5 million of Calipari, as you can see below.

*Note: All pay is based on total pay, not school pay, per USA Today.

  1. 1. John Calipari (Kentucky): $9,276,643
  2. 2. Mike Krzyzewski (Duke): $7,048,206
  3. 3. Tom Izzo (Michigan State): $4,157,562
  4. 4. Tony Bennett (Virginia): $4,150,000
  5. 5. Bill Self (Kansas): $4,066,857
  6. 6. Chris Mack (Louisville): $4,007,494
  7. 7. Roy Williams (North Carolina): $3,928,778
  8. 8. Jay Wright (Villanova): $3,878,768
  9. 9. Bob Huggins (West Virginia): $3,865,000
  10. 10. John Beilein (Michigan): $3,800,000

Calipari’s deal comes with a max bonus of $50,000 and has a school buyout which ranks as the highest in all of college basketball at $25 million.

John Calipari’s Contract Extension & Success With Kentucky

Back in March of 2017, Calipari received a bump in pay and extended his deal with Kentucky from 2022 to 2024, as Fletcher Page of the Courier-Journal previously reported. In turn, it included an increase in total guaranteed pay to $7.75 million for last season and $8 million after. This goes roughly along with the baseline pay which USA TODAY reports of just under the $8 million mark.

Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart addressed the extension and new deal for Calipari at the time.

“John has achieved consistent championship-level performance at Kentucky,” Barnhart said in a news release. “No one in America is better suited for everything that comes with being the coach here. Not only has he attained incredible success on the court, he is also a leader in our community and in college basketball. We have been blessed to have him and Ellen here for the last eight years and we are blessed they will continue to call Kentucky home.”

Calipari is in season No. 10 with Kentucky and has posted a 305-70 record while achieving the No. 1 ranking in the country during six of the 10 years. He’s also led the Wildcats to either a regular season SEC title or conference championship on seven different occasions.

For good measure, Calipari’s success has also resulted in four appearances in the Final Four with the potential to add one more to that mark during the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Over the span of his entire coaching career, the current Wildcats coach has gone 750-210, a 78.1 winning percentage.

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