Top College Coaches Make Millions; How Many Students Could That Pay For?

Cortez Deacetis

The cost of going to college is fairly eye-popping. Between tuition, room, board and books, expenses pile up quickly.

For the 2021-22 school year, the average cost of a public college was $10,740 for in-state tuition and $27,560 for out-of-state, while a year of private school cost $38,070, according to

That’s a lotta lattes.

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If you’re the one writing the tuition checks, then you might be irked when you see how much money college football and basketball coaches make. How can a university pay a college basketball coach a seven-figure salary, then charge students $50K?

With the men’s college basketball tournament concluding, GOBankingRates looked at the top college coaches in basketball and football to determine the number of tuitions their salaries could support.

Spoiler alert: Three Final Four coaches — Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Kansas’ Bill Self and Villanova’s Jay Wright — are in the top 20.

Mark Humphrey/AP

Mark Humphrey/AP

20. Rick Barnes, Tennessee basketball

Salary: $5.2 million

Tuitions salary could fund: 164

The most popular degrees at the Volunteer State’s top public university include business, kinesiology, health care and psychology. Barnes has 754 wins in his 35-year head coaching career.

Charlie Neibergall/AP

Charlie Neibergall/AP

19. Chris Beard, Texas basketball

Salary: $5.255 million

Tuitions salary could fund: 136

The University of Texas, with more than 51,000 students, has plenty of powerhouse degrees, with programs ranked in the top 10 in the country in business, communications, geosciences, education, engineering and more.

Beard, the head coach of the Longhorns men’s basketball team, has a Master of Education from Abilene Christian University.

Matt Slocum/AP/Shutterstock

Matt Slocum/AP/Shutterstock

18. Jay Wright, Villanova

Salary: $6.192 million

Tuitions salary could fund: 102

Villanova, a private Catholic university in Pennsylvania, features majors in psychology, economics and finance.
Wright, who has coached at Villanova since 2001, won national championships in 2016 and 2018.

Also Find: How Rich Are Mike Krzyzewski and Other Top-Paid College Basketball Coaches?

Jay LaPrete/AP

Jay LaPrete/AP

17. Ryan Day, Ohio State football

Salary: $6.614 million

Tuitions salary could fund: 189

THE Ohio State University, as it is known, has strong programs in political science, architecture and interior design.
Day has a 34-4 record, taking the Buckeyes to two appearances in the College Football Playoff.



16. James Franklin, Penn State football

Salary: $7 million

Tuitions salary could fund: 192

Penn State is ranked No. 2 in business and psychology degrees, and tied for No. 2 in graduate industrial engineering.
Franklin has a Bachelor of Science in psychology.

Romeo Guzman/CSM

Romeo Guzman/CSM

15. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan football

Salary: $7.05 million

Tuitions salary could fund: 132

The University of Michigan is one of the strongest public universities in the nation, featuring solid programs in undergraduate engineering, business and nursing.
Harbaugh comes from a family of coaches and has been at Michigan since 2015.

More: How Rich Are the Top College Football Coaches?

Brett Davis / AP / University of Georgia Athletic Association

Brett Davis / AP / University of Georgia Athletic Association

14. Kirby Smart, Georgia football

Salary: $7.133 million, plus $850,000 bonus

Tuitions salary could fund: 277

Fresh off the school’s first national championship since 1980, Smart could fund 29 Georgia tuitions from his bonus alone.
The university offers 129 undergrad programs, with business, management and marketing the most popular.



13. Lane Kiffin, Mississippi football

Salary: $7.25 million

Tuitions salary could fund: 281

Popular majors at Ole Miss include digital communication and media, accounting and business administration.
Kiffin is a lifelong football coach; he gave up his senior season as a player at Fresno State to become a student assistant coach.

Adam Glantzman / Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA 2

Adam Glantzman / Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA 2

12. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke basketball

Salary: $7.353 million

Tuitions salary could fund: 253

Krzyzewski, who is retiring, is the winningest men’s college basketball coach in history and just took Duke to its record 13t
h Final Four. The Army graduate funds several scholarships at Duke.

Regularly ranked as one of the top private universities in the country, Duke has top programs in computer science, public policy and econometrics.

Eric Gay/AP/Shutterstock

Eric Gay/AP/Shutterstock

1. Bill Self, Kansas basketball

Salary: $10.184 million

Tuitions salary could fund: 378

At the top of this coaching list is Self, who has taken his Jayhawks to four Final Fours and won the 2008 national title. He has a bachelor’s degree in business from Oklahoma State.

KU features strong degrees in nursing, journalism, psychology and nursing.

More From GOBankingRates

For this piece, GOBankingRates sourced Sportsnaut’s list of highest paid college football coaches and USA Today’s list of highest-paid college basketball coaches. GOBankingRates then sourced out-of-state undergraduate freshman tuition information for each relevant school (not including room and board, books and other fees) and divided the pertinent tuition into relevant salary to find the number of students’ tuition that salary would fund. All data was collected on and up to date as of March 24, 2022.

This article originally appeared on Top College Coaches Make Millions; How Many Students Could That Pay For?

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