Mick Cronin’s contract makes him highest-paid public-school basketball coach in Pac-12
Mick Cronin’s new six-year contract, which takes effect Friday and pays him $4.1 million annually, is expected to make the UCLA coach the highest-paid public-school basketball coach in the Pac-12.
Given the early returns on investment, it might count as a major bargain. In his two seasons at the school in which the NCAA tournament has been played, the Bruins have reached a Final Four and a Sweet 16. One of the nation’s top recruiting classes will arrive this summer, bolstering what could be a veteran returning core.
Oregon’s Dana Altman will make $4 million next season as the result of a $250,000 raise, according to salary data obtained by USA Today, ranking him second in the conference among public school coaches. USC and Stanford, which are both private schools, do not divulge the salaries of their coaches, but it is unlikely they make more than $4.1 million a year.
In three seasons, Cronin’s teams have gone 68-30, twice finishing in second place in the Pac-12 regular season standings and reaching the conference tournament championship game earlier this month.
UCLA was moments away from reaching the Elite Eight for the second time in as many years before North Carolina surged late, dashing the Bruins’ dreams.
Cronin’s contract comes with a hefty reciprocal buyout in which he would have to pay the school if he departed and the school would have to pay the coach if it terminated him without cause. The buyout would be $24 million through March 31, 2023; $20 million through March 31, 2024; $16 million through March 31, 2025; $10 million through March 31, 2026; $6 million through March 31, 2027; and $2 million through March 31, 2028.
Cronin, who will turn 51 in July, can make up to $345,000 per season in cumulative performance bonuses, including Pac-12 coach of the year as selected by the coaches ($10,000); Pac-12 regular-season championship outright ($25,000); Pac-12 tournament championship ($15,000); making the NCAA tournament round of 64 ($35,000); second round ($25,000), Sweet 16 ($25,000), Elite Eight ($25,000), Final Four ($50,000), championship game ($25,000) and national championship ($50,000). Cronin also can make as much as $60,000 per year based on his players’ academic performance.
Longevity for the coach would come with significant financial benefits. Cronin would receive a $2-million retention bonus if he’s still the Bruins coach on April 15, 2025, and another $2 million if he remains in place on March 31, 2028. He can also make up to $250,000 per year for camps and clinics.
Mick Cronin’s new six-year contract, which pays him $4.1 million annually, is expected to make the UCLA coach the highest-paid public-school basketball coach in the Pac-12.
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