It’s good to be Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan these days. Florida just finished their best regular season in school history and went 21-0 against SEC teams, something that will never be broken. The Gators success also means a windfall for the architect of the program. Donovan’s deal currently pays him $220,000 in base pay. Sounds like a bargain. But factor in nearly $2.7 million added on to that from an activities agreement including TV and radio programs and sponsorships and basketball camps. All-in-all, Donovan’s salary adds up to $3,689,200, according to USA Today Sports.
Donovan’s success this season has sparked incentives galore that could get even greater. He’s already earned an extra $50,000 for the SEC regular-season championship and another $25,000 after Florida beat Kentucky to take the SEC Tournament title. Monday, Donovan earned two more bonuses after Florida finished No. 1 in the final AP poll and he won the AP SEC Coach of the Year. He netted a $50,000 reward for being ranked in the top-10 of last AP Poll and an additional $25,000 for the SEC COY honors. Add-on the $37,500 bonus he’s made for making the NCAA Tournament, something he clinched in the SEC title win Sunday, and you’re looking at another $187,500 Billy D is making so far this year. That’s more than double what most households earn in a year in just incentives.
Donovan’s got the ability to earn even more cash. By going to the Sweet 16, that $37,500 bonus would increase to $75,000. A win in the Elite 8, something that’s alluded the Gators the past three years, to get to the Final Four would add another $25,000. The ultimate goal, winning a national championship tacks on another $50,000 to bring the total to an additional $150,000. All-in-all, Donovan can make an extra $300,000 in incentives to push his salary for the 2013-14 season to around $3.8 million. Is that too much for a coach? I personally think it’s tough paying anybody that much money just for coaching. However, it’s a rigorous schedule with late nights and early mornings, and you have an impact on young people’s lives every day. To compare apples-to-apples, Donovan is the fifth highest paid coach behind (in order) Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Louisville’s Rick Pitino, Kansas’ Bill Self, and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo. Let’s take a look at success: Donovan has more national championships than Self and Izzo, and is tied with Pitino. I’d say Donovan deserves to be in the upper pay grade for collegiate coaches.
Billy D is the entire reason Florida has a relevant basketball program. He’s built UF from the ground-up to become a perennial power in college basketball. He’s also a huge part of the Gainesville community, giving back and taking time to meet and talk with his supporters. If there’s anyone worth upwards of the $4 million he could earn this year, it’s Billy D. It’s also good to note that the University of Florida doesn’t actually pay his salary. The University Athletic Association pays his salary and has donated more than $90 million of their revenue from basketball and football to UF’s academic programs. And, barring an early-exit from the NCAA Tournament, Donovan should receive another extension that would most likely bring his salary without incentives to $4 million. Good luck to Billy. The more he earns, the better we feel.