Tonight Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals beat the Michigan Wolverines 82-76 to become champions of the 2013 NCAA March Madness final. I'm not really a college basketball fan but even I have to admit that it was an amazing game to watch. Louisville and Michigan were neck and neck the whole time and each team threw up some incredible dunks an onslaught of flawless three pointers. With this win, Louisville earns their third NCAA basketball title. It's Rick Pitino's second NCAA tournament win (his first was with Kentucky in 1996). Pitino is now the only coach in history to win the title for two different teams. So how does winning the NCAA tournament affect Rick Pitino's bank account?
First of all, even without winning the tournament Rick Pitino's $4.973 million base salary makes him one of the highest paid college basketball coaches in the country. Last July Pitino and Louisville agreed to a contract extension that will pay him $42 million between now and 2022. On top of his base salary, Rick also has the ability to earn some very lucrative bonuses and perks like a $3,000 per month car allowance! This year Pitino earned the following bonuses:
- $50,000 for winning the Big East tournament
- $50,000 for winning the Big East regular season championship
- $175,000 for making it to the Final Four
- $150,000 for winning the NCAA championship
- $2.7 million retention bonus
- Total: $2,825,000
When you add the $2.825 million bonus money to his $4.973 million base salary, Rick Pitino will take home $7.8 million this year! That's enough to make him the highest paid public employee in Kentucky. It's also more than 10 times the annual salary of University of Louisville President James Ramsey (he makes $600,000). So is Pitino worth all that money? YES. Thanks largely to Rick Pitino, Louisville's basketball program earned $41 million in revenue, more than any other college in the country. The second highest earning team, Duke, brought in $28 million last year.
Rick Pitino isn't the only person who will benefit from Louisville's big win. Fast food chain KFC is offering a free chicken meal with side, biscuit and drink to every Louisville student with valid ID!