SportsPulse: With the annual release of our college basketball coaches compensation database, Trysta Krick looked at some of the best perks in the contracts of the top coaches in the country.
A hefty coaching contract doesn’t necessarily guarantee a trip to the NCAA tournament.
According to USA TODAY Sports’ latest bracket projection and annual survey of college basketball coaching salaries, more than a dozen coaches making $2.5 million or more are on track to miss this year’s NCAA tournament — including at least seven coaches who are making north of $3 million.
The annual compensation survey includes coaches at all Power Five schools, as well as any non-Power Five school that has reached the NCAA tournament in three of the previous five years.
Here are the five highest-paid coaches on the list.
1. West Virginia’s Bob Huggins
2018-19 compensation: $3.87 million
Only eight coaches in this year’s survey are making more than Huggins, and five of them will be coaching a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament later this month. West Virginia, meanwhile, is 12-19 and has wallowed near the bottom of the Big 12 standings all year, thanks in part to separate five-game losing streaks during conference play.
Salary database: See a detailed breakdown of how much coaches make
Huggins’ team has reached the NCAA tournament in each of the past four seasons — including three trips to the Sweet Sixteen — but the Mountaineers will almost certainly be watching from home this year. They’ll face Oklahoma in the Big 12 tournament on Wednesday.
2. Utah’s Larry Krystkowiak
2018-19 compensation: $3.573 million
The Utes haven’t reached the NCAA tournament since 2016, and they haven’t advanced past the Sweet 16 since 1998. Expect both trends to continue this year, even as Krystkowiak pockets the 11th-highest pay in this year’s survey.
Utah is sitting at 17-13 as Pac-12 tournament play begins Wednesday and will face either Washington State or Oregon on Thursday night. If the Utes manage to surge to a conference tournament title, Krystkowiak will net $100,000 in bonuses — $50,000 for reaching the NCAA tournament, and $50,000 for playing in the Pac-12 title game.
3. Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall
2018-19 compensation: $3.57 million
The Shockers have had a notably down year in their second season in the American Athletic Conference, recording their worst regular-season win percentage (.567) since 2008-09 — Marshall’s second season at the school. And barring a stunning run in the conference tournament, their seven-year streak of NCAA tournament appearances will end this week.
But don’t cry for Marshall. He’s still making more than twice as much as he was paid when he started at Wichita State more than a decade ago, and his current contract runs through 2025 — with a $15-million buyout.
4. Indiana’s Archie Miller
2018-19 compensation: $3.25 million
As of Tuesday morning, USA TODAY Sports projected Miller’s squad to be one of the four teams that just barely miss out on March Madness. But a run in the Big Ten tournament could change that. The Hoosiers, who are seeded eighth, will face Ohio State in the first round, then Michigan State, should they advance.
Miller will receive a $50,000 bonus if Indiana wins the Big Ten tournament, and a $25,000 bonus if the Hoosiers reach the NCAA tournament. He’d be eligible for a series of cumulative bonuses after that, including $125,000 for a Final Four berth and $250,000 for a national title.
t-5. Georgia’s Tom Crean
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2018-19 compensation: $3.2 million
The Bulldogs still have a long way to go as Crean reaches the end of his first season in Athens. They lost 16 of 18 conference games this year — including nine in a row — and were held to 50 points or fewer on five occasions.
Crean, the former Hoosiers coach, should have some time to turn things around, and the arrival of local five-star recruit Anthony Edwards next season should help. But there’s not much hope left for the Bulldogs this year as they face Missouri, which trounced them by 25 last week, in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament
t-5. Texas’ Shaka Smart
2018-19 compensation: $3.2 million
Like Indiana, the Longhorns are on track to be one of the first four teams left out of the NCAA tournament, according to USA TODAY Sports’ latest bracket projection. They lost four of five to close out the regular season and will have a tough matchup against Kansas in the Big 12 quarterfinals on Thursday.
Though Smart has had moderate success so far at Texas, his recent record in the NCAA tournament has been less than stellar. Smart is now eight years removed from that memorable trip to the Final Four with VCU, and he hasn’t won an NCAA tournament game since 2013, when his Rams beat Akron in their opening game.
Contributing: USA TODAY Sports’ Steve Berkowitz, Scott Gleeson and Shelby Mast
Contact Tom Schad at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.