Kim Mulkey will likely become the highest paid coach in women’s basketball as the new coach at Louisiana State University.
Mulkey’s contract with LSU runs through the 2028-29 season. Her base salary is $400,000 before supplemental pay increases it to a $2.5 million starting point for the 2021-22 season. Towards the end of her contract, the supplemental pay raises to $3.4 million, according to the term sheet between LSU and Mulkey.
“Kim Mulkey is a champion and a Hall of Famer, and we are thrilled to welcome her home,” said LSU director of athletics Scott Woodward in a statement. “Her accomplishments are unprecedented, her passion is unrivaled, and her commitment to winning in all aspects of life - in the classroom, on the court, and in the community - is unparalleled. We look forward to working with her as she instills that championship culture at LSU.”
Mulkey, 58, grew up in Tickfaw, Louisiana - about 50 miles from the university in Baton Rouge. The 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist is the only person in college basketball history - men’s or women’s - to win national championships as a head coach, assistant coach and a player.
Mulkey reportedly made $2.27 million at Baylor University, at her previous head coaching position.
“Can you believe there’s only one institution I would have left for … and I’m home … I would not have left Baylor for any other school except LSU,” said Mulkey at her introductory ceremony.
Her new term sheet doesn’t outline any limitation to her incentive pay. Her incentive pay ranges from $10,000-$50,000, depending on the accomplishment:
South Eastern Conference Coach of the Year: $10,000 National Coach of the Year: $10,000 SEC Regular Season champion: $65,000 AND SEC Tournament championship: $35,000 National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament appearance 1st Round: $28,000 AND Round of 32: $30,000 AND Sweet 16: $33,000 AND Elite Eight: $38,000 AND Final Four: $50,000 AND National Championship Game: $75,000 AND National Championship: $150,000 Top 25 finishes Final ranking 11-25: $25,000 OR Final ranking 1-10: $30,000 Academic Incentives Multi-year academic progress rate in Top 10 percentile: $13,000 Multi-year academic progress rate in Top 11-40 percentile: $9,000
In addition to monetary compensation, her contract describes standard privileges.
The university will provide her with a courtesy vehicle. It will also pay for her to move to Baton Rouge, and will provide her a cell phone and service. Mulkey will also receive 16 women’s basketball tickets per game and $80,000 per year in personal travel allowance.
The three-time national champion pushed the boundaries of pay equity. Mulkey’s contract equates to the standard given to a men’s basketball coach. The top-40 highest-paying NCAA schools pay their men’s basketball head coach at least $1 million.
Mulkey’s contract sets the expectation of what a women’s basketball head coach should be paid. Where, as of 2017, approximately 40% of head coaches are women - reported by Jeré Longman for the New York Times - Mulkey realized new possibilities for compensation. Now female head coaches can negotiate for comparable salaries.