The Arizona Wildcats locked up Adia Barnes for the future during their magical run to the national championship game, and now we know how much it cost to do so.
Quite a bit, though still not nearly as much as some of the top coaches in women’s college basketball.
Barnes’ 5-year contract extension, through the 2025-26 season, will pay her $3.345 million over the life of the deal. She’ll make $580,000 in 2021-22, an increase of 34 percent from her $432,500 salary while leading the UA to its first-ever Final Four and nearly winning a national title.
Barnes will earn $620,000 in 2022-23, $650,000 in 2023-24, $725,000 in 2024-25 and $770,000 in 2025-26. She made $235,000 in her first season, in 2016-17.
The $669,000 average, while a significant increase for Barnes, still puts her behind many of the game’s top coaches. Oregon’s Kelly Graves earned $1 million for the 2020-21 season, not including COVID-related salary reductions, while South Carolina’s Dawn Staley ($1.6 million), Baylor’s Kim Mulkey ($2.27 million) and Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma ($2.4 million) have each been making seven figures for a while.
It wasn’t just Barnes’ salary that went up a lot in the new contract, which is expected to be approved by the Arizona Board of Regents during its next meeting April 14-16. If she were to leave Arizona for another job before the end of the 2021-22 season she’d owe the school $1 million, a figure that drops to $700,000 in 2022-23, $300,000 in 2023-24 and $100,000 in 2024-25.
Barnes’ buyout, if she were to be fired without cause, is 60 percent of her remaining contract.
There’s also a penalty clause in there—call it the Sean Miller clause?—that she would owe the school $100,000 if she commits any NCAA or Pac-12 violations and would have to pay back any incentives that came from wins or championships vacated due to such violations.