The 10 College Basketball Coaches Whose Former Players Currently Make The Most Money In The NBA
Last week, we gave you an in-depth look at which college basketball programs have been churning out the highest-paid NBA stars. This time around, we figured we’d switch it up and show you the same data, instead with coaches. While a handful of college basketball’s finest – the Mike Krzyzewski’s and Jim Boeheim’s of the world – have been with their schools for decades, most have moved around quite a bit.
Even some of the most successful headmen in the business, like John Calipari and Roy Williams, have had long stints with multiple programs.
Here are the ten college basketball coaches whose former players currently make the most money in the NBA:
Note: Some players had multiple coaches in their time at school. In those cases, the most recent coach was awarded the player’s salary.
10. Jim Boeheim – $30,419,156
Boeheim walked onto the Syracuse basketball team in 1962 and hasn’t left since. Since becoming head coach in 1976, Boeheim has led the Orange to four Final Four appearances and one national title while amassing the second-most D1 victories (920) in history.
As for his current NBA crop, more than half of the total salary of his former players goes to Carmelo Anthony. Dion Waiters and Wesley Johnson are the two next highest paid.
9. Lute Olson – $42,223,613
Hey, we never said this list had to be made up of current coaches. Lute Olson turned Arizona into a national powerhouse, coaching the Wildcats from 1983 until 2008. He reached the Final Four five times, and won it all in 1997.
Olson’s highest-paid NBA stars include Andre Iguodala, Richard Jefferson, and Channing Frye. The fact that he’s on this list and hasn’t coached in five years is pretty impressive.
8. Paul Hewitt – $44,870,890
Hewitt is easily the most surprising name on here. The reality, however, is that during his eleven seasons with Georgia Tech, he produced some quality pros. Chris Bosh makes over $17 million. Thaddeus Young makes $8.3 million. Anthony Morrow, Derrick Favors and Jarrett Jack each make between $4 million and $6 million.
Remember, Hewitt actually took one of his teams (2004) to the NCAA title game. He’s now the head coach at George Mason.
7. Rick Barnes – $47,799,825
Barnes has been at Texas since 1998, and currently has ten of his alumni in the NBA. Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge make up over $30 million of the total salary, as the majority of former Texas players in the league have become role players.
Barnes’ best finish in the NCAA Tournament belongs to his 2003 team, which reached the Final Four before being knocked off by Carmelo Anthony and Syracuse.
6. Ben Howland – $53,751,475
Howland, who was just fired by UCLA, had a great run with the Bruins in the mid-2000s. UCLA actually reached the Final Four three straight years, but never was able to cut down the nets. After a few recent lackluster seasons, Howland finds himself on the unemployment line.
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love, two staples of his glory years, both make over $13 million each. Arron Afflalo and Trevor Ariza pull in over $7 million each.
5. Billy Donovan – $61,998,530
Donovan’s Florida Gators are the main reason that Howland’s UCLA teams never won the NCAA title, as they knocked them off in both 2006 and 2007. The core players from those two teams, Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer, are also a big reason why he’s on this list. David Lee and Mike Miller are two others.
In all, Donovan has ten players he’s coached currently playing in the NBA.
4. John Calipari – $62,521,294
Honestly, I thought Coach Cal would be No. 1 on this list between his notable superstars at both Memphis and Kentucky. Heck, he even coached Marcus Camby at UMass, who still makes $4.5 million. But as we noted last week in reference to the UK program, many of his NBA players are still under their rookie contracts.
That means that when players like John Wall, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins hit the open market, Cal should move up this list. For reference, the highest-paid player in the NBA formerly coached by Calipari is Derrick Rose, at $16.4 million.
3. Roy Williams – $64,602,180
Williams coached at Kansas from 1988 until 2003, and still has four of his former Jayhawks in the NBA – Paul Pierce, Drew Gooden, Kirk Hinrich and Nick Collison. Since he’s moved over to North Carolina, he’s produced a ridiculous number of NBA players – 12 of which are still in the league. He also won two national championships, in 2005 and 2009.
Ironically, three of his top four former players (in terms of salary) are from his KU tenure, with Marvin Williams the highest UNC rep. As we noted last week, many of his former North Carolina players have underperformed in the NBA.
2. Jim Calhoun – $76,047,203
While Calhoun may have called it quits last year, he still has 13 of his former players suiting up in the NBA. Calhoun won three national titles during his time at UConn, and key players from each run still lace it up in the league. He’s got players from three decades still representing his program in the pros.
Rudy Gay, Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon all make over $12 million. Ray Allen and Richard Hamilton are still contributors and pull in modest salaries. The only issue? He’s retired, so he doesn’t really have a shot at reaching No. 1.
1. Mike Krzyzewski – $77,244,780
It’s Duke, again. Coach K boasts 18 of his former players in the NBA right now, led by main breadwinners Carlos Boozer ($15 million), Luol Deng ($13.3 million) and Corey Maggette ($10.9 million). Krzyzewski, like Calhoun, has players from three decades still in the league.
While Coach K has a chance to stay atop this list due to Kyrie Irving’s rise as one of the world’s best players, it’s very likely that John Calipari catches him in a year or two. While most of Krzyzewski’s NBA stars are from the mid-2000s, Cal’s are just entering their primes. Either way, it should be interesting to keep an eye on.