Florida State men’s basketball coach Leonard Hamilton tops coaches earning sizable bonuses
Although teams from two private schools played for the NCAA men’s basketball championship Monday night, head coaches at some public schools will be coming away from this season with sizable bonuses for their teams’ on-court achievements this season.
Tuesday’s release of the final Ferris Mowers Men's Basketball Coaches Poll brought particularly good news for Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles’ No. 10 ranking means he will receive $200,000 for that accomplishment and come away with a total of $875,000, the largest bonus total for a public school coach whose team played in the NCAA Tournament.
Had FSU ended up No. 11 through No. 20 in the final poll, he instead would have gotten $50,000 for the ranking. Under the terms of a contract that is scheduled to pay him $2.25 million in basic annual compensation — one of the lowest amounts for a men’s basketball coach at a Power Five conference school — Hamilton can get up to $2.675 million in bonuses each year. Comprising 17 separate categories, it’s one of the most lucrative incentive packages for a public-school coach in any sport.
This season, he picked up bonuses for the Seminoles’ overall regular-season win total, ACC regular-season win total, NCAA tournament appearance, consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, seeding among the field’s top 16 teams, and each of their two tournament wins.
WHO'S PAID WHAT? See salaries for Division I men's basketball coaches
Over the past five seasons, combined, Hamilton has picked up nearly $3.7 million in bonuses, according to figures compiled by USA TODAY Sports.
Florida State’s No. 10 ranking the final men's college basketball poll means Leonard Hamilton will receive a $200,000 bonus for that accomplishment. (Photo: Bob Donnan, USA TODAY Sports)
This season, under a pay-reduction agreement related to financial problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton agreed to a 15% cut that will total more than $280,000 for his current contract year and $337,500 overall.
With so many aspects of coaches’ compensation changing or still being determined because of the pandemic, USA TODAY Sports attempted over the weeks leading into the tournament to contact every public school with a team in the field of 68 that had not previously reached a contractual agreement with its head coach for a waiver of bonuses.
Pay-reduction agreements between schools and coaches resulted in considerable savings on bonuses for Oregon State and Tennessee. The Beavers’ run to the Elite Eight would have given coach Wayne Tinkle $450,000 in bonuses, but with the team making the tournament field, he did trigger an automatic one-year contract extension that will be worth at least $2.3 million. On Monday, the school announced that it had reached a new deal with Tinkle that will lengthen the contract by three additional years. The Volunteers’ tournament appearance normally would have paid Rick Barnes $200,000.
Oregon and Oklahoma State also will be saving at least $100,000.
Altogether, public schools whose teams appeared in the tournament will be saving at least $1.1 million in bonuses that otherwise would have been paid.
Tinkle was not the only public-school coach whose team’s achievements had automatic impacts on future contract terms:
►Arkansas advanced to the Elite Eight, but getting to the round of 16 guaranteed Eric Musselman a $250,000 raise, beginning with the start of his new contract year.
►Houston’s Kelvin Sampson will get a $100,000 raise because the Cougars made the field, and he will get $120,000 in bonuses from them advancing to the Final Four and finishing No. 3 in the Coaches Poll.
►Connecticut’s tournament appearance will give Dan Hurley a $75,000 raise, as well as a $35,000 bonus.
►Missouri’s tournament appearance means the period of time during which coach Cuonzo Martin cannot be fired without cause has been extended through April 30, 2022. In addition, the amount he would be owed if gets fired without cause after that date will be increased by as much as $3 million.
The other public-school school coach whose team made the Final Four, UCLA’s Mick Cronin, will be getting $125,000 in bonuses — $25,000 for appearing in the round of 64 and $25,000 for each of the four wins that followed — but that total will be exceeded by those of five coaches in addition to Hamilton whose teams did not advance that far but did hit bonus-paying benchmarks prior to the tournament:
►Colorado’s Tad Boyle: $290,000, including a combined $155,000 for reaching 15, 17 and 19 regular-season wins and making the Pac-12 tournament semifinals (the Buffaloes ended up reaching the final).
►Alabama’s Nate Oats: $225,000, including $50,000 apiece for the SEC regular-season and tournament championships.
►Virginia Tech’s Mike Young: $180,000 (an amount that reflects a 10% reduction due a pandemic-related agreement), including $45,000 for finishing among the top four in the ACC regular-season standings and $90,000 for being named ACC coach of the year.
►Michigan’s Juwan Howard: $150,000, including $50,000 for winning the Big Ten regular season title.
►Illinois' Brad Underwood: $135,000, including $50,000 for winning the Big Ten tournament and $15,000 for each of two wins over Indiana.
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