The highest paid coaches in sports have a combined salary of $65.98 million. Newly hired Chicago Cubs manager, Craig Counsell, will enter Opening Day 2024 as the highest-paid coach in baseball. Prior to Counsell earning the highest-amount was Terry Francona who was raking in a cool $4.5 million. It’s a significant jump from Francona’s pay but Counsell has put himself in conversation as some of the highest paid coaches out there. Here’s who else is getting paid good money to coach their teams.
These Are the Highest Paid Coaches
Todd McLellan, Los Angeles Kings: $5M
McLellan has been the top-paid NHL coach for some time as he is in his fifth season behind the Kings bench. He is fresh off a new contract extension that runs through the 2024-25 season. He had been behind the bench in Edmonton for three seasons after spending seven as the San Jose Sharks’ coach. With 575 NHL coaching wins, McLellan is 23rd in league history and fifth among active coaches in wins. His career points percentage trails by the slimmest margin of .001% behind Peter Laviolette of the New York Rangers.
Craig Counsell, Chicago Cubs: $8M
The Cubs welcomed Counsell as the 56th manager in club history. He signed a five-year contract this is worth $40 million as it makes him the highest-paid manager in baseball history. During his nine-year run with the Milwaukee Brewers, Counsell was recognized for being a manager who could get the most out of the smaller-market payroll and roster. He became the winningest manager in Brewers history while reaching the postseason in five of the past six years and has posted the National League’s third-highest winning percentage (.555) since 2017.
John Calipari, Univesity of Kentucky Men’s Basketball: $8.5M
Calipari is the highest-paid men’s basketball coach. The 64-year-old is making $8.5 million which is $2.5 million more than any other Division I head coach. He has coached Kentucky to four Final Fours in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. As of March of this year, Calipari’s 789 wins ranks 14th on the all-time winningest coach list. He has on national championship to his name. Unfortunately, the title didn’t last long for Calipari as Bill Self agreed to a new contract last week. It will make him the highest-paid coach at $9.44 million for the 2023-24 season, including a $1 million signing bonus. That moves him past Calipari, who will continue to make his salary for the next two seasons.
Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide Football: $11.4M
It’s hardly a surprise that Saban is the highest-paid college football coach. He is a stuff of legend thanks to his 183-25 record at Alabama along with six national championships to go with it. Alabama has been ranked no. 1 in the Associated Press Poll for at least one week for the past 14 seasons. He has even coached four Heisman trophy winners that is tied for the most in college football history. Plus, he is the only person in history to coach Heisman trophy winners who played at three different positions.
Monty Williams, Detroit Pistons: $13.08M
The 51-year-old Williams signed a six-year deal for $78.5 million to become the head coach of the Pistons. His $13.08 million a season will surpass Gregg Popovich’s total of $11 million. Williams’ annual salary could rise to $100 million with incentives with an option to extend for an extra two years. Williams was named the NBA Coach of the Year in 2022. The Phoenix Suns increased their win total over three seasons going from 34-39 in 2019-2020, to 51-21 in 2020-21 and to 64-18 in 2021-22 when the club reached the NBA Finals.
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots: $20M
There is no surprise that one of the greatest football minds is the highest-paid NFL coach. Eight career Super Bowl rings suggest that is a good enough argument for Belichick to be worth every penny. His lucrative contract is worth $2 million than Sean Payton, the second-highest paid coach in football. The 70-year-old Belichick has a winning percentage of 74 in his entire 22-year coaching career.
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