Arizona women’s basketball has the 11th highest-paid coach among public schools according to USA Today. Adia Barnes received two raises last spring, the final one landing her at $1,012,000 after she led the Wildcats to the national championship game. Of that amount, $1 million comes from the school and $12,000 is from “other sources.”
The numbers published by USA Today have Barnes as the second-highest paid coach in the league, but they do not account for Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer or USC’s Lindsay Gottlieb, who both coach at private schools that do not regularly make salaries public. VanDerveer would be the highest-paid according to the last numbers made public, knocking Barnes down to third in the league.
In 2016 tax filings, Stanford reported paying their women’s basketball coach $2,279,608 per year according to ProPublica. How much that has increased over the ensuing six years is unknown, but even that salary places VanDerveer ahead of Oregon’s Kelly Graves, who currently is ranked 10th overall and first in the Pac-12 in USA Today’s database with a salary of $1,025,000.
Of the 12 coaches in the league, only VanDerveer, Graves, and Barnes are known to break into seven figures. They are closely followed by Oregon State’s Scott Rueck, whose $879,452 puts him fourth overall and third on the USA Today list for Pac-12 coaches.
VanDerveer, Graves, Barnes, Rueck, and Gottlieb have all taken their teams to the Final Four at least once.
Barnes also has the third-highest publicly available buyout in the league. The highest buyout in the Pac-12 is written into the contract of Rueck, who would get $8,589,061 as of April 1, 2022 if the Beavers fired him. Barnes would get a tidy sum of $2,930,000 from Arizona, which ranks behind Rueck and first-year Washington head coach Tina Langley.
The highest-paid public school coach in the country is Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma, who makes $2,900,000 per year according to USA Today. In addition to Auriemma and VanDerveer, South Carolina’s Dawn Staley and LSU’s Kim Mulkey are also reported to make over two million.