The $11M "Coaching Tree": Business of Pro Coaches
Personal announcement + the business of professional coaching (and why Gregg Poppovich is one of the best, ever).
When judging coaches, I’m a firm believer that you’re only as good as your coaching tree.
Do you turn assistants into competitors?
Take away all the wins and accomplishments, the reason Greg Poppovich and Nick Saban are legendary coaches is because they pump out talented assistants.
Two days ago, Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy and the Utah Jazz agreed on a five-year deal.
Hardy is the youngest active NBA head coach (34) — he began his career as a video coordinator for the Spurs before being promoted to an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich.
Here’s a wild stat for you…
8 out of the 30 current NBA coaches (27%) worked or played under Popovich in San Antonio.
Will Hardy (Jazz)
Doc Rivers (76ers)
Ime Udoka (Celtics)
Mike Brown (Kings)
Steve Kerr (Warriors)
Monty Williams (Suns)
Taylor Jenkins (Grizzlies)
Mike Budenholzer (Bucks)
6/8 of them have coached in at least one NBA Finals.
While we’re on the topic of professional coaches, let’s take a look at the business behind it.
Business of Professional Coaches
Greg Poppovich is the highest-paid coach in the NBA at $11M/year, and rightfully so.
However, the average coach makes right around $3.5M annually, which is right in line with the median salary of NBA players at $3.8M/year.
Players win championships, but good coaches certainly help.
That’s why Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggings all make 3-4x more than head coach Steve Kerr.
Comparing the averages across other professional leagues tells a similar story:
NFL Head Coach = $6.6M
NFL Player = $2.7M
MLB Head Coach = $2M
MLB Player = $4.41M
NHL Head Coach = $2.75M
NHL Player = $2.69M
The average pro head coach will make a similar salary to the average pro player.
However, there are two major sports in the United States where this isn’t the case.
Power 5 NCAA college football and basketball.
College FBS Football Coach = $2.7M
College D1 Basketball Coach = $1M
College Players = $0
And one more thing…
College football’s top coaches make 10,000x more than the average NIL deal.
I believe name, image, and likeness (NIL) is the start to a sustainable solution — however, it will be a bumpy road.
Thanks for reading today!
No weekly roundup on Sunday or article on Monday.
Have an awesome 4th weekend. Get outside. Kick your feet up.
We’ll chat next week.
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