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Saturday September 18th

Analysis: How Hubert Davis' contract stacks up against other coaches' at UNC and beyond

UNC Men's Basketball Head Coach Hubert Davis delivers remarks during his introductory press conference.
Buy Photos UNC Men's Basketball Head Coach Hubert Davis delivers remarks during his introductory press conference.

On April 5, the UNC Board of Trustees approved the contract signed by new men’s basketball coach Hubert Davis.

In total, Davis is set to make $9.75 million over five years. But how does his pay stack up against his predecessor, Roy Williams, or other big-name coaches in the UNC family? How about other men's basketball coaches that just inked new deals?

Here’s everything you need to know about Davis’ contract:

Breaking down Davis’ contract

Davis signed a five-year deal that stipulates $400,000 per year in base salary, along with supplemental compensation that starts at $600,000 in year one and increases by $100,000 annually. Additionally, he will be paid $750,000 per year from his agreements with Nike and Learfield IMG College.

The compensation from Nike and Learfield are not an anomaly among UNC coaches. As of 2018, five North Carolina coaches had personal service contracts with Nike and/or received compensation from Learfield, including Williams. Those agreements are approved by the UNC chancellor and Bubba Cunningham, the school's athletic director.

Also included in the contract is a $50,000 expense allowance and annual bonuses that could be worth up to nearly $1.1 million.

Roy Williams, former UNC men’s basketball coach

That being said, the University will be saving some money with Davis’ contract. Williams was still on contract through 2028 when he retired, with his base pay for the 2027-28 season being $800,000 — double that of Davis’ in his first season. 

When Williams was brought on as UNC's head coach in 2003, he signed an eight-year deal with a base salary of $260,000. Adjusted for inflation, that would be about $375,000, comparable to that of Davis’ new deal — despite Williams' 15 years of experience being head coach of Kansas' program. 

Williams was the sixth highest-paid men’s basketball coach last season, raking in over $4 million despite giving up 20 percent of his annual base salary of $625,000 in light of COVID-19 related budget cuts. In the ACC, only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski made more, with a total pay of over $7 million.

Davis will earn $1.75 million in his first season as head coach. Comparing that figure to other coaches’ salaries in the 2020-2021 season, Davis would have been about the 61st highest-paid coach in the nation and about the second lowest-paid in the ACC, just ahead of former Boston College head coach Jim Christian.

Mack Brown, UNC football coach

Brown, like Williams, is a national champion and longtime staple of a very successful program, and his contract with UNC reflects that.

After an 8-4 campaign in the fall, Brown signed an extension that will put him on contract through the 2025 season with an annual salary of $3.5 million. Next season will be the first time in a while that UNC’s head football coach will be earning more than the head men’s basketball coach.

Juwan Howard, Michigan men’s basketball head coach

Davis and Howard seem to have a lot in common when it comes to their coaching careers. Both had lengthy stints in the NBA before returning to their alma maters — flagship public institutions in Power Five conferences — with no previous head coaching experience.

Just as their paths to becoming head coaches parallel each other, so do their contracts. When Howard was hired to replace longtime coach John Beilein at Michigan, he signed a five-year deal with a base salary starting at $400,000, just like Davis did. Both coaches will be making somewhere in the ballpark of $2 million annually throughout the lengths of their contracts.

After leading Michigan to a Big Ten regular season championship and an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament in just his second campaign, Howard is on track to earn even more money should he continue his success. If Davis’ career continues to follow the same path as Howard’s, then perhaps that bodes well for the future of UNC men’s basketball.

@LucasThomae

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com


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