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UW volleyball coach Sheffield earned $100k bonus for winning national championship

All UW head coaches, including Chryst and Gard, get bonuses for winning conference, national championship

kelly sheffield salary
UW volleyball coach Kelly Sheffield huddles with his players at the national title game on December 18, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. Photo credit: Taylor Wolfram.

BY NATHAN DENZIN, The Badger Project

Winning a national championship is a dream come true — but for UW coaches, it’s also a big payday.

On top of his $362,000 salary, University of Wisconsin-Madison volleyball head coach Kelly Sheffield earned a bonus of about $109,000 bonus for winning the national championship in 2021, plus a bonus of about $18,000 for winning the Big Ten, according to the UW Post Season Bonus Policy.

His total earnings for the 2021-2022 academic year will come to nearly $490,000, making Sheffield one of the top earners in the Wisconsin athletic department this year, though still far behind the head football and men’s basketball coaches.

UW head coaches receive a 5% bonus for winning the conference and a bonus of up to 30% for winning a national championship, according to the school’s bonus schedule.

The public employee with the highest salary in the state is UW head football coach Paul Chryst. He will earn a salary of more than $5.25 million in 2021-22, according to a contract update in September. However, only a small fraction of Chryst’s seven-figure salary comes from the university, with more than 90 percent paid by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a nonprofit corporation funded by private donors.

These boosters pay most of the salaries of the men’s football and basketball head coaches.

Chryst, men’s basketball head coach Greg Gard and men’s hockey head coach Tony Granato all receive a $400,000 annual salary from the athletic department.

University of Wisconsin head football coach Paul Chryst

In addition to his salary, Chryst gets $125,000 per year for travel and entertainment, which includes two cars and a family country club membership.

Gard will earn an additional $2.25 million from the foundation for a total salary of $2.65 million in 2021-22, plus two cars and a family country club membership, according to his contract.

Granato earns an additional $200,000 from the foundation for a total salary of $600,000, plus one car, according to his contract.

Women’s hockey head coach Mark Johnson will make a base salary of about $365,000 in the 2021-22 season, according to his contract.

The UW athletic department says it is not funded with taxpayer dollars. Generally, it generates its revenue through donations, ticket sales, third-party agreements like the one with apparel partner Under Armour, and money from TV revenue, bowl games and the NCAA Tournament, said Justin Doherty, senior associate athletic director.

The highest-paid public college coach in the country is Alabama football’s Nick Saban, who will receive a salary of nearly $10 million in 2021-2022. Chryst’s $5.25 million deal would rank in the top 20 highest-paid college football coaches — and the sixth-highest in the 14-team Big Ten — behind James Franklin of Penn State, Kirk Ferentz of Iowa, Ryan Day of Ohio State, Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern and Mel Tucker of Michigan State.

Gard’s salary puts him outside the top 25 highest-paid basketball coaches in the country.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers receives an annual salary of $152,756.

The Badger Project is a nonpartisan, citizen-supported journalism nonprofit in Wisconsin.

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