Although Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Brown are known for their strong academic reputations, these schools also participate in Division I collegiate basketball. As such, head coaches for Ivy League schools are paid well -- although not nearly as well as the head coaches of large non-Ivy League schools. In fact, their earnings do not reach six figures.
College basketball is a spectator sport. As such, the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average salary for coaches in spectator sports at $60,610 as of 2010. In spite of coaching for amateur teams, Ivy League coaches, along with other collegiate coaches, are professional coaches who are paid accordingly.
A Closer Look
An April 2011 article for the "Brown Daily Herald" reports that head coaches at Brown earn $18,000 less than the league average and $14,000 less than the second lowest paying school, Dartmouth. Cornell pays the highest salaries to its head coaches, offering an average of $91,368, according to the article. The average overall salary for Ivy League head coaches is $81,788.
Ivy League schools also have women's basketball programs. Women's head basketball coaches at the collegiate level earn lower salaries than their male counterparts. As an example, an April 2011 article for the "Yale Daily News" reports that male head coaches earn approximately $18,360 more than women head coaches. The article adds that every Ivy League school pays its women more although numbers are not available.
The departure of well-respected Princeton head basketball coach Sydney Johnson for Fairfield in 1997 continued the debate about the relatively low salaries of Ivy League coaches. Since Johnson's departure, Princeton has had five head basketball coaches as of publication, according to an April 2011 article for the "Daily Princetonian." With entry-level Division I coaches earning approximately $200,000 annually, according to Mike James, an NFL labor finance analyst in an April 2011, even coaches such as Harvard's long-time head coach Tommy Hamaker briefly considered a job at the University of Miami. ESPN writer Andy Katz states that Ivy League schools such as Princeton will have to begin paying well over six-figure salaries to keep coaches with the reputation and stature of Johnson.