South Carolina financially rewarded women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley on Wednesday for her continued building of the program. She is now one of the country’s highest paid women’s basketball coaches, and likely ranks third, for now, in the Southeastern Conference, behind Kentucky’s Matthew Mitchell and Texas A&M’s Gary Blair.
USC’s Board of Trustees approved a three-year contract extension and $125,000 raise. Staley’s deal was set to expire after the 2015-16 season. It now runs through 2018-19. Staley made $725,000 in guaranteed pay last season, after receiving a $50,000 raise in June. Her guaranteed pay next season will be $850,000. Her guaranteed pay will increase in the following increments for the remainder of the deal …
2013-14 … $850,000
2014-15 … $875,000
2015-16 … $900,000
2016-17 … $925,000
2017-18 … $950,000
2018-19 … $975,000
Staley’s base salary was $300,000 last season, after previously being $250,000. It is now $350,000. The yearly increase of $25,000 in her guaranteed pay comes in the non-base salary part of her earnings. Schools have different terms for this chunk of change – retention incentive, media/television income.
Anyway, it doesn’t really matter what you call it. The important thing to note is the total guaranteed pay – base plus non-base. Staley’s non-base earnings will start at $500,000 next season, then go up $25,000 every year for the rest of the deal. She previously made $425,000 in non-base money, to go with the $300,000 base.
USC will also pay Staley $50,000 in a deferred income package if she stays at the school through the end of her contract. But that isn’t included in the guaranteed pay figures listed above.
Staley has certainly earned her pay. Just take a look at how she has improved the program since taking over for Susan Walvius in 2008-09 …
2001-02 … 25-7 (10-4 SEC), NCAA Elite Eight (first tournament trip since 1990-91, which was USC’s fourth straight trip)
2002-03 … 23-8 (9-5), NCAA second round
2003-04 … 10-18 (1-13)
2004-05 … 8-21 (2-12)
2005-06 … 17-12 (7-7), WNIT first round
2006-07 … 18-15 (6-8), WNIT second round
2007-08 … 16-16 (4-10), WNIT second round
2008-09 … 10-18 (2-12)
2009-10 … 14-15 (7-9)
2010-11 … 18-15 (8-8)
2011-12 … 25-10 (10-6), NCAA Sweet 16
2012-13 … 25-8 (11-5), NCAA second round
So where does Staley’s $850,000 in guaranteed pay next season rank in the SEC? For now, it appears to be third, behind Kentucky’s Mitchell, who got a new seven-year deal last May, and Texas A&M’s Blair.
Mitchell’s pay in 2011-12 was $625,000, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. Here’s what it was bumped to, according to the paper …
2012-13 … $900,000
2013-14 … $950,000
2014-15 … $1,100,000
2015-16 … $1,150,000
2016-17 … $1,200,000
2017-18 … $1,200,000
2018-19 … $1,200,000
Three other highly paid SEC women’s basketball coaches are as follows. This is guaranteed pay, based on publicly available figures …
Gary Blair (Texas A&M) … $860,000
Nikki Caldwell (LSU) … $700,000
Holly Warlick (Tennessee) … $485,000
As you can see, Staley was already ahead of Caldwell after last year’s bump, to $725,000. And if Blair doesn’t get a bump after next season, Staley will probably pass him when she hits the $875,000 mark for the 2014-15 season.
In the summer of 2011, USA Today published a list of the highest paid women’s basketball coaches in the country.
Not surprisingly, Tennessee’s Pat Summitt, who has since retired, was atop the list, with $2.028 million. Connecticut’s Gene Auriemma recently signed a new contract that will pay him $1.95 million next season.
The other coaches on USA Today’s 2011 list who made more than $700,000 were as follows …
Kim Mulkey ($1.112 million), Baylor
C. Vivian Stringer ($1.085 million), Rutgers
Gail Goestenkors ($1.052 million), Texas (has since been replaced)
Sherri Coale ($948,400), Oklahoma
Gary Blair ($827,737), Texas A&M
Brenda Frese ($806,239), Maryland
Jim Foster ($798,200), Ohio State (has since been replaced)
Since that list came out, Mulkey has not received a new contract. Nor has Stringer. Goestenkors left Texas and was replaced by Karen Aston, who was paid $600,000. Coale is right around that 2011 figure of $948,400. Blair’s pay is now $860,000, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Frese’s pay hasn’t changed.
Foster is now out at Ohio State, which was interested in Staley before she pulled her name out of the search. Ohio State hired Washington’s Kevin McGuff but didn’t disclose the terms of his contract.
One important thing to remember: Two private schools with prominent women’s basketball programs, Stanford and Duke, did not release coaching salaries to USA Today. Notre Dame released only Muffet McGraw’s university-based pay ($615,991). McGraw signed an extension last year, but no salary was released.
So where does Staley rank nationally? It’s hard to say for sure. She is definitely behind Auriemma, Mulkey, Stringer, Mitchell, Coale and Blair. Does Staley rank behind Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer and Notre Dame’s McGraw? Almost certainly, yes. What about Ohio State’s McGuff and Duke’s Joanne McCallie? It’s harder to say on those ones, since VanDerveer and McGraw have longer histories of success than McGuff, McCallie and Staley, for that matter.
Staley likely does not rank higher than ninth nationally in women’s basketball coaching earnings. She could be 11th, if she is behind McGuff and McCallie. At this point, based on the $125,000 raise Staley got Wednesday, she almost certainly ranks among the top 15 highest paid women’s basketball coaches in the country.