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Tennessee men's basketball coach Rick Barnes hits $1 million in bonuses with NCAA tournament win

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In recent years, men’s college basketball coaches have needed to win the national championship to accumulate $1 million in bonus money.

On Thursday, Tennessee coach Rick Barnes reached that figure with the Volunteers’ NCAA Tournament first-round victory over Longwood. The win added $200,000 to his total for this season — and he can get $200,000 more for each additional win except a win in the title game, which would be worth $300,000.

Although Barnes has missed on some bonuses this season, he still could end up with more than $2 million in incentive pay.

Since USA TODAY Sports began tracking these amounts in the 2016-17 season, the top single-season totals, including amounts based on team academic performance, have been Virginia coach Tony Bennett’s $1.25 million in 2018-19 and North Carolina coach Roy Williams’ $1 million in 2016-17. Those seasons ended in NCAA titles for their respective teams.

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes watches from the bench in Thursday's game against Longwood.
Tennessee coach Rick Barnes watches from the bench in Thursday's game against Longwood.

Barnes’ basic annual compensation from the university this season is $5.2 million, which put him among the top 10 in USA TODAY Sports’ annual survey of men’s basketball coaches’ pay. But when the season began, Barnes’ maximum bonus total was $3 million, the largest among public-school coaches in the survey by a substantial margin.

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton had the second-greatest best-case scenario, but that was $325,000 less than Barnes’. Arizona State’s Bobby Hurley was next, $975,000 behind Barnes; Colorado’s Tad Boyle was fourth, nearly $1.5 million behind.

SALARIES: Coaches' compensation database

Among Hamilton, Hurley and Boyle, the greatest recurring annual pay amount is Hurley’s $2.755 million, which ranks 45th in a survey that covers coaches at Power Five schools and schools whose team has played in at least three of the previous five NCAA Tournaments.

Barnes’ current bonus plan became part of his contract under an amendment following the 2018-19 season, when UCLA was interested in hiring him — and Tennessee re-worked his deal by increasing his annual pay by more than $1 million and his bonus maximum by $2.3 million.

This season, going into Thursday’s game, he had picked up $200,000 for winning the Southeastern Conference tournament (its first since 1979); $200,000 for an NCAA Tournament bid and $400,000 for the team’s top-five ranking in the season’s final Associated Press media poll.

He had missed out on incentives for the SEC regular-season title (would have been worth $400,000, but the title was won outright by Auburn by one game over Tennessee and Kentucky) and AP SEC coach of the year (would have been worth $150,000, but the award went to Auburn’s Bruce Pearl).

In addition to the on-court bonuses, Barnes can get up to $100,000 based on the team’s NCAA Academic Performance Rate figure.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NCAA tournament win means Vols' Rick Barnes hits $1 million in bonuses