When you build a nothing program into a national power, assembling multiple dynasties and winning 11 rings along the way, you deserve to be compensated accordingly.
Only in Connecticut could a women’s basketball team win a conference regular season and tournament championship, earn a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, be a Final Four favorite, and…underachieve.
That’s just the standard at UConn, and head coach Geno Auriemma is the biggest reason why. He took over the women’s basketball program in 1985, built his first Final Four team by 1991, and has brought the Huskies to every Sweet 16 since 1994. With 11 national championships and a Final Four streak dating back to the Bush Administration, he’s earned his GOAT moniker.
But is UConn paying him accordingly? You know it is. Boardroom dives into the Geno Auriemma contract details at UConn.
Geno Auriemma Contract and Salary Breakdown at UConn
Signed: April 13, 2021
Term: Through 2025 season
Base Salary: $600,000
Geno Auriemma Speaking, Consulting, and Media Fees
In addition to his base salary, Auriemma receives quarterly payments from the university for satisfying his obligations off the court. Here’s what they add up to annually for the remaining years on his deal:
Add that to his base salary, and Auriemma will make $3,000,000 this season, with $100,000 raises each of the next two years. That brings the total remaining value on his deal up to $9,300,000, including what he’s already made this season (beginning mid-April 2022).
Note that the above payments do not include potential bonuses, determined by UConn’s postseason success, which, if you’re familiar with the Huskies at all, you know is an annual occurrence.
Geno Auriemma Contract Bonuses
Like most coaches, Auriemma can earn bonuses based on how his team performs on the court. While some coaches also have clauses in their contracts that reward them for their team’s academic performance, UConn’s head coach does not. Instead, the Huskies must satisfy the NCAA’s APR (Academic Progress Rate) requirements for Auriemma to be eligible for any additional bonuses at all.
Assuming his players get it done in the classroom, Auriemma’s bonuses are paid out as percentages of his monthly salary (doing some quick math, if his annual salary is $600,000, that means he makes $50,000 a month). Here’s what he can earn:
- One half-month salary for winning the Big East regular season ($25,000)
- One half-month for winning the Big East Tournament ($25,000)
- One month’s salary for reaching the NCAA Tournament ($50,000)
- One month for reaching the Sweet 16 ($50,000)
- One month for reaching the Elite Eight ($50,000)
- One month for reaching the Final Four ($50,000)
- Two months for winning the National Championship ($100,000)
Coach of the Year Awards:
- One half-month salary for winning any National Coach of the Year award ($25,000) OR
- One quarter-month salary for winning the Big East Coach of the Year award ($12,500)
This season, Auriemma has already earned a few bonuses. UConn won the Big East regular season and tournament, netting him $50,000, and earned another NCAA Tournament bid, which got him another $50k. If the Huskies go all the way, he will get another $250,000 for his efforts.
Geno Auriemma Buyout Details
UConn Twitter loves to ironically use the #FireGeno hashtag over things like “didn’t win 32 games in a 31-game season” or “trails 2-0.” But what if it actually happened? What if, one day, athletic director David Benedict wakes up and decides he can do better than the guy who has more rings than Saturn?
Or, almost equally unlikely, what if Auriemma decides he wants to take a job elsewhere? Sure, things are great at UConn, but maybe he wants to take on a rebuild at Division III Hartford. Crazier things have happened!*
*no they have not
In any event, Auriemma’s buyout structure is the same whether he is fired or takes another job. The only difference is the university pays him if he’s fired and Auriemma pays the university if he takes another job. Here’s the money that would change hands:
- If he leaves before 4/14/23: $4,000,000
- 4/15/23-4/14/24: $3,500,000
- 4/15/24-4/14/25: $3,000,000
In addition to Auriemma’s pay and bonuses, he is entitled to the following additional perks:
- An annual vehicle allowance of $15,000, payable on a bi-weekly basis
- Family membership at Hartford Golf Club
- Reimbursement on all work-related travel expenses for him and his wife
- 30 tickets to all UConn women’s basketball games, with the option to purchase 20 more for home games
- Eight tickets to all men’s basketball home games
- Four chair-back seats and 24 suite tickets for all football home games
- Two tickets to all other UConn home games in other sports
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