John Calipari becomes the highest-paid coach in the nation - WDRB 41 Louisville News

John Calipari becomes the highest-paid coach in the nation

New University of Kentucky Basketball Coach John Calipari becomes the highest paid coach in the nation.  Some are wondering where UK is getting all that money to pay its new coach.

UK says its Athletic Program is actually self-funded, meaning no state funds are used for the majority of the coach's salary. UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart is defending Calipari's salary, saying that the university paid a premium price for him to leave Memphis, and that Calipari "can flat out coach."

Calipari signed an eight-year, $31.65 million contract. That breaks down to about $76,000 per week.  Barnhart says "We do not use any state appropriations or university funds to pay our coaches, except for (Calipari's) base salary of $400,000." Barnhart says the majority of the salary comes from compensation from multi-media rights, sponsors, and revenue sharing.

To give some perspective on Calipari's salary, Joe B. Hall made $40,000 a season after bringing UK to a national title in 1978.  Fired coach Billy Gillispie received a base salary of $2.3 million with another $750,000 in incentives.  Rick Pitino never made more than $2 million a season during his eight-year run at Kentucky.

Right now, Pitino makes about $2.5 million a year at the University of Louisville.

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