The longtime rivals Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels have played each other 257 times, with UNC holding a 142-115 advantage in the all-time series. Somehow, the two had never met in the NCAA Tournament — until now. The Blue Devils, among the top teams in college basketball throughout the year, emerged from the East region. The Tar Heels overcame a bumpy start to the season and have caught fire at the perfect time, winning the West region.
That sets up a historic fight between the two teams to advance to the title game. Duke is led by head coach Mike Krzyzewski in his 42nd and final season. Coach K has won 101 NCAA Tournament games and is looking to finish off his impressive career with a sixth national championship. On the other sideline, first-year UNC coach Hubert Davis is coaching his alma mater and hopes to add another title to the long and storied UNC history.
The teams split the season series, with each winning on the other’s home floor. But how do the coaches stack up in terms of salary?
Let’s start with Davis, as his contract is more recently signed. After former UNC coach Roy Williams retired at the end of last season, North Carolina signed Davis to a five-year, $10 million deal. The contract includes an expense allowance and compensation from Nike and Learfield, which are partners of the Tar Heel program. The deal also features up to $1.1 million in annual bonuses. Davis can earn extra money if the Tar Heels win the ACC regular-season or conference tournament, if they reach the NCAA Tournament, and for each round they advance during March Madness. Davis also has incentives for winning national or ACC Coach of the Year and will receive an annual bonus each year his team’s academic progress rate is over 975.
Davis’s starting salary for this season is $1.8 million, which put him as the 61st-highest-paid among coaches whose salaries are public information. Factoring in bonuses, he’ll likely finish the year with closer to $2.5 million earned.
Meanwhile, Coach K has been earning far more than that for over a decade. He topped $9 million annually throughout most of the 2010s. His salary is $7,048,206, though thanks to bonuses, his annual pay can reach as high as $9.7 million — about four times as much as Davis will make.
Coach K has also turned down several offers from NBA teams over the years. His annual salary likely would have been around the same amount or a bit lower, though he probably wouldn’t have had the same level of success as he’s had at Duke. Coach K’s Duke teams have won about 79% of all the games he’s coached.
We’ll see how the teams fare on the court, but in the salary matchup, Coach K wins easily. Of course, Davis is just getting started. If he puts together more seasons like this one, he’ll catch up to Coach K in no time.