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May 30, 2012

Over the weekend Pitt released info on the highest paid university employees for the past fiscal year (July 2010-June 2011).

Ex-head football coach Dave Wannstedt was actually the top earner at $1,859,357. That number seems higher than what his salary was believed to be. Considering his termination, I figure the number is higher than expected because he got something of a buyout on his contract on top of his salary for the year.

Coach Jamie Dixon had a boost from previous earnings to be getting over $1.8 million for the season. That isn’t too surprising given the overall success, and offers he’s had. There’s no question that the money is a reason why he hasn’t been hired away by other programs in the past couple years. To make it worth his while to leave where he is established, a program would now have to start the offer at $2.5 million just to get him to seriously listen. Not even to leave. Just to take the offer seriously.

That’s a lot for a college basketball coach. A figure not many are that willing to pay as a starting figure — even for an established coach.

According to the USA Today database, only 9 schools pay their coaches at $2.5 million or more (OSU, MSU, Marquette, Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, Florida, Duke and UConn). After that, 9 schools pay $2 million or more (Indiana, Michigan, Purdue, Texas, Wisconsin, WVU, Arkansas, Arizona and UCLA). Marquette is the only surprise on the list, but Buzz Williams has been a surprisingly good coach who has attracted a lot of deep-pocketed attention the last couple of years.

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