There’s a $1.5M difference between average head coaching salaries for men’s, women’s teams at KU, report shows

photo by: Nick Krug

Kansas volleyball head coach Ray Bechard talks with his team before practice at the new Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019.

According to KU’s annual Equity in Athletics report, at the University of Kansas the average salary of head coaching positions of men’s teams is over $1.5 million more than that of the head coaches of women’s teams.

The report, which was due Oct. 15 to the NCAA, was recently requested and acquired by the Journal-World. The report also notes that women’s teams, in contrast to men’s, lose millions of dollars a year.

The average annual institutional salary for head coaches of the men’s teams at KU, of which there are five, is $1,711,827. For the head coaches of female teams, of which there are nine, the average annual salary is $195,164.

The steep average salary for the head coaches of men’s teams at KU is heavily affected by men’s basketball coach Bill Self, who, according to USA Today, made $4,954,877 in 2018, and Les Miles, who makes $2,775,000 a year as the football coach.

“Coaching salaries are market-driven throughout Power 5 conferences across the country,” Dan Beckler, spokesman for KU Athletics, said in an email. “Salaries for our coaches are reflective of comparable markets, and we routinely review salaries on an annual basis.”

As Beckler noted, KU’s pay scale is similar to those of other Power 5 schools. At the University of Oklahoma, for example, the average annual salary for head coaches of men’s teams was $1,135,835 and $392,725 for women’s teams, according to its 2018 equity report.

At Texas Christian University, the numbers for the average head coach salaries were $1,324,536 and $148,794 for men’s and women’s teams, respectively, according to its 2018 equity report.

Some Power 5 schools with female athletic directors — there are four — also have similar pay scales.

At The University of Pittsburgh, for example, the average head coach salary for its men’s teams is $1,652,782, and $296,600 for women’s teams, according to its 2018 EADA report.

At KU, while head coaches of women’s teams make drastically less than head coaches of men’s teams, women’s teams have consistently been costing the university.

This year, the revenue loss from women’s teams was $17,146,244. And for the past three years, the loss to the university from women’s teams was in the $15 million range. According to reports from previous years, which are available on KU Athletics’ website, the grand total revenues for the combined men’s and women’s programs have remained in the positive for the past four years, despite major losses in revenue from women’s teams. This year, the grand total revenue was $3,414,918.

“Historically, in college sports, the highest revenue-producing sports are football and men’s basketball; that trend is reflected at Kansas as well,” Beckler said. “Regardless of revenue, our men’s and women’s teams have access to resources and training that allow them to compete and be successful in the classroom, on their field of play and to prepare them for their future.”

Men’s teams at KU include baseball, basketball, football, golf and the combined track and field and cross country teams. Women’s teams include basketball, golf, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field and cross country and volleyball.

Beckler also said that the Big 12 Conference recently became the second conference to obtain group membership to WeCoach, which is dedicated to recruiting, advancing and retaining female coaches of all sports and levels.

Other findings from the report:

• The overall participant number for men’s teams is 315. For women’s teams, it’s 339. (Women’s basketball, however, includes 13 male participants on the practice squad.)

• No women are the head coaches of men’s teams at KU. For women’s teams, three out of the nine head coaching positions are held by women.

• 53% of athletically related student aid goes to men’s teams; 47% goes to women’s teams.

• For men’s teams, recruiting expenses are $1,713,511; for women’s teams, $582,297.

• Compared with reports from previous years, the numbers are largely similar.


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