At Private Colleges, 33 Coaches and Athletic Directors Top $1-Million

Thirty-three coaches and athletic directors at private colleges made at least $1-million in 2011, according to a Chronicle analysis of federal tax records. Fourteen of those officials earned more than $2-million in total compensation.

Coaches and athletics leaders accounted for nearly one of every five people whose pay totaled $1-million or more at private colleges in 2011, The Chronicle found.

Mike Krzyzewski, the head men’s basketball coach at Duke University, was the highest-paid private-college employee in 2011, earning $9,682,032. That total included $5.6-million in bonus pay, the highest bonus paid out at a private university in 2011.

Mr. Krzyzewski has led the Blue Devils to four national titles and 11 Final Four appearances in more than three decades at the university.

Duke officials defended his pay. “By any measure, Coach K is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, college coach of all time,” Michael Schoenfeld, a Duke vice president, told USA Today, which first published the figure, in May.

“This takes into account his 33 years of service at Duke, his unparalleled success as a head coach—in 2011 he became the winningest [NCAA Division I] head coach of all time—his commitment to the academic achievement of the student-athletes and to Duke University,” he said.

After Mr. Krzyzewski, the next four highest-paid private-college athletics officials in 2011 were Gary Patterson, head football coach at Texas Christian ($3.1-million); John R. Thompson III, head men’s basketball coach at Georgetown ($2.7-million); Lane Kiffin, former head football coach at Southern California ($2.6-million); and Jay Wright, head men’s basketball coach at Villanova ($2.5-million).

The top-paid athletic director at a private college was Patrick C. Haden, of Southern California, who earned $2.2-million in total compensation in 2011. Vanderbilt’s David Williams ($1.2-million) and Notre Dame’s Jack Swarbrick ($1.1-million) were the only other two private-college athletic directors who earned more than $1-million that year.

In all, 203 private-college employees made at least $1-million in 2011, according to the Chronicle’s analysis, which was done by Jonah Newman, a database reporter. The analysis included a review of compensation listed on the IRS Form 990 by the 500 largest private colleges. (To use the Chronicle database, click here. Results for coaches and athletic directors can be found by searching each institution’s president and clicking on the “Compare key employees” tab.)

The figures do not include pay for employees at public universities, which are not required to file the IRS forms.

Many of the highest-paid coaches and athletics officials work at public universities, according to research by USA Today. John Calipari, head men’s basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, was paid more than $5.4-million in the 2012-13 season, not including bonuses. And Louisville’s Rick Pitino and Kansas’ Bill Self both made nearly $5-million, USA Today found.

This week, Alabama reportedly extended the contract of Nick Saban, its head football coach. According to a report in The Birmingham News, he will make an average of $7-million a year through the 2020 season.

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