And The Highest-Paid Coach In America Is…

No surprise here. New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick is the highest-paid sports coach in the United States, according to the sports business journal Sportico.

Belichick, who won six Super Bowl titles with quarterback Tom Brady and had a losing season without the superstar in 2020, has an average annual salary of $18 million, Sportico reported on Wednesday.

Bill Belichick

Boston Globe via Getty Images

The list is dominated by football coaches, including some from the college ranks. Alabama football coach Nick Saban leads that group at $10.7 million per year.

In perhaps the least shocking aspect of the rankings, the coaches are predominantly white and all men.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin ($11.5 million) and Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers ($8.5 million) were the only Black men to make the list. Ron Rivera of the Washington Football Team ($8.5 million) is Latino, and the Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra ($8.5 million) is Filipino American.

Louis Moore, a professor who specializes in African American and sports history at Grand Valley State University, said the list indicates “that we don’t really value Black leadership.”

“I think what’s going on there is this idea from the top that [Black coaches] should be lucky to have this opportunity,” he told HuffPost. “I’m not gonna pay you as much because you should be lucky.”

Moore noted that Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker, who is Black, is about to become an outlier amid reports that will be offered a 10-year, $95 million contract extension.

For Black candidates seeking coaching vacancies, however, the press can become an impediment as well.

“The media doesn’t present the Black coach as the hot commodity,” Moore said.

Here’s Sportico’s list:

  • Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, $18 million
  • Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks, $14 million
  • Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints, $14 million
  • Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs, $12 million
  • Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs, $11.5 million
  • Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers, $11.5 million
  • Nick Saban, Alabama, $10.7 million
  • Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M, $9.5 million
  • Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers, $9.5 million
  • Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors, $9.5 million
  • Dabo Swinney, Clemson, $9.3 million
  • Frank Reich, Indianapolis Colts, $9 million
  • John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens, $9 million
  • Urban Meyer, Jacksonville Jaguars, $9 million
  • John Calipari, Kentucky, $8.6 million
  • Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers, $8.6 million
  • Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers, $8.5 million
  • Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat, $8.5 million
  • Ron Rivera, Washington Football Team, $8.5 million
  • Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills, $8.5 million
  • Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams, $8.5 million
  • Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $8 million
  • Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks, $8 million
  • Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors, $8 million
  • Steve Nash, Brooklyn Nets, $8 million

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