USA TODAY Sports
If fourth-seeded Purdue defeats top-seeded Kansas in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament Thursday night, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels is going to face an unusual decision.
He’ll have to determine how much of a bonus coach Matt Painter receives for leading the Boilermakers to the tournament’s Elite Eight.
According to Painter’s contract, there is a prescribed minimum for this bonus. However, whether Painter ends up with the minimum or another amount is “to be determined by the University’s President in consultation with the Athletic Director.”
As a practical matter, most university CEOs and many ADs can use their discretion to award a bonus. Three weeks ago, when Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall finished second in the voting for Missouri Valley Conference coach of the year, AD Darron Boatright announced that the school was awarding Marshall the $25,000 bonus he is contractually entitled to receive if he wins the honor.
Generally, however, coaches get bonuses in accordance with specific, fixed terms.
For example, among the coaches whose teams are in the men’s tournament’s round of 16, North Carolina coach Roy Williams has a contract that says he is entitled to a set bonus for nearly every step in the Tar Heels’ possible path to a national championship. He has gained $25,000 because the team made the tournament; $100,000 more for advancing to the second round and another $150,000 for getting to the Sweet 16.
He can get additional bonuses of $200,000 if the Tar Heels beat Butler for a place in the regional finals; $200,000 for making the Final Four and $250,000 for winning the national championship.
Arizona’s Sean Miller has a similar arrangement, but could total another $725,000 if the Wildcats win the title.
Michigan’s John Beilein gets $25,000 for every tournament win by the Wolverines.
Meanwhile, Kentucky’s John Calipari has a contract that no longer includes any bonuses based on the team’s athletic performance. He agreed to their elimination as part of a renegotiation in 2014 that increased his basic pay from the school. He now makes more than $7 million annually.
Painter’s deal with Purdue has a series of standard fixed bonuses for certain team athletic and academic achievements and coaching honors. But in addition to involving the school president in a determination of the Elite Eight bonus, it includes an another uncommon incentive feature. It offers the possibility of $50,000, $75,000 or $100,000 depending on certain combinations of the team’s cumulative grade-point average for the academic year, its finish in the Big Ten Conference regular season standings and its performance in the NCAA tournament.
Coaches’ bonuses, listed in alphabetical order by school:
Arizona’s Sean Miller