LSU women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey's blockbuster contract: $23.6 million over eight years

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Glenn Guilbeau, Lafayette Daily Advertiser
·3 min read
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BATON ROUGE — Only Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma — he of 11 national championships — will make more money than new LSU coach Kim Mulkey, and she is believed to have the longest contract in LSU history.

Mulkey, 58, will also make more than LSU men's basketball coach Will Wade. Her total package comes in at $23.6 million over eight years, according to the details of her contract released to USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday after a public records request.

"I can't wait to eat crawfish," Mulkey, who grew up 47 miles from LSU in Tickfaw, Louisiana, said Monday at her introductory news conference in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

She will be able to afford it by the bushel. The only LSU coach who will be paid more than Mulkey is football coach Ed Orgeron at $8.9 million a year.

LSU has had several coaches over the years signed to five-year contracts, but never eight, former athletic director Skip Bertman said Wednesday.

"No, I do not believe LSU has had a coach have a contract of eight years or more," he said. "And let me tell you, she's worth every penny."

Kim Mulkey speaks as LSU Athletics holds a public press confrence to introduce her as the new head womens basketball coach Monday, April 26, 2021.
Kim Mulkey speaks as LSU Athletics holds a public press confrence to introduce her as the new head womens basketball coach Monday, April 26, 2021.

As of close of business Wednesday, LSU had sold 1,600 new season ticket packages, according to the ticket office.

Mulkey, who was making $2.27 million a year Baylor and won three national championships there, will make an average of $2.9 million a year through 2029 when she will turn 67. She was at Baylor since the 2000-01 season.

Her total compensation for her first season will be $2,585,000, as previously reported, with a $400,000 base salary, $2.04 million in supplemental compensation, $60,000 in sponsor related compensation and $80,000 in travel related compensation that includes a company car. Wade's current package is $2.5 million.

Her package will rise steadily each year and reach $3.1 million in 2026-27 and $3.4 million in the final year of her contract in 2028-29.

LSU athletic director Scott Woodward was not immediately available for comment.

Mulkey will also have a chance to make another $577,000 in bonus money over the course of her contract with yearly incentives of $65,000 for winning the SEC regular season title, $35,000 for winning the SEC Tournament and $150,000 for winning the national championship.

She will receive a bonus of $75,000 for reaching the national championship game, $50,000 for a Final Four appearance, $38,000 for an Elite Eight finish, $33,000 for a Sweet 16 appearance, $30,000 for one win in the NCAA Tournament and $28,000 for reaching the NCAA Tournament.

Auriemma just completed a five-year contract in which he made $2.8 million a year. Negotiations for a new deal "are going on in good faith," Connecticut athletic department spokesman Patrick McKenna told USA TODAY on Monday.

Mulkey's contract exceeds in length the seven-year deal that Texas made with women's coach Vic Schaefer when it hired him away from Mississippi State in April of 2020.

Should Mulkey be fired without cause, LSU would owe her a buyout of $2.5 million. LSU has agreed to pay Mulkey's buyout to Baylor, according to the contract, but that total was not available.

Mulkey replaces Nikki Fargas, who recently resigned following 10 seasons. LSU was 9-13 overall and 6-8 in the SEC last season and failed to reach the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time of the last five years in which there was a tournament.

"She's going to be great," said Bertman, who was LSU's athletic director from 2001-2008. "And with the way athletes are transferring and immediately eligible (due to COVID-19), she could come up with a very good team immediately."

Contributing: Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY Sports.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: LSU women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey to be paid $23.6M through 2029