2/28/19 Coaches Pay graphic

College athletes strive for greatness daily in hopes of eventually playing a sport for their career, but their coaches make a healthy living of their own mentoring these young players.

Purdue head football coach Jeff Brohm may need to think about how he plans to spend his 2018 salary after making the decision to remain at Purdue. There was a lot of speculation in November that Brohm may head south to his home state of Kentucky, but he decided to stay in West Lafayette.

Brohm told the Lafayette Journal & Courier that it was a “very difficult and emotional decision for me and my family. We are extremely happy at Purdue and thankful for the opportunity to lead this program.”

Brohm also received a 7.5 percent bonus for winning at least six regular-season games and acquiring a bowl bid. Had Brohm accomplished all of his incentives, he would have reached a $1.5 million bonus, according to SB Nation.

Brohm, however, isn’t the only Purdue head coach making millions. Matt Painter, men’s head basketball coach, made just over $2.5 million in 2018 after one of his most successful seasons with Purdue.

Painter notched a career-high 30 wins last season and has led the team to 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, four Sweet 16s, two Big Ten regular season championships, a Big Ten tournament championship and has won Big Ten Coach of the Year three times in just 13 seasons with the team.

With the consistent success of the team in recent years, the question may arise as to why he earns just half of what Brohm makes.

Jared Deperna, a freshman in the College of Engineering, said he was slightly surprised by the difference in the two coaches’ salaries given the success both of them have had at Purdue.

“But football is the bigger market, so it makes sense,” he concluded.

Painter’s success with the team in recent years hasn’t gone unnoticed though, with Purdue offering him a two-year contract extension in October. The extension keeps Painter at Purdue through the 2023-24 season.

Painter’s compensation will also see an increase in 2019, moving from $2.5 million to $2.8 million, according to the Journal & Courier.

Though Painter and Brohm are the only coaches in the seven-figure salary range, the others are still making six figures.

Sharon Versyp, women’s head basketball coach, led those, while the lowest salary of Purdue head coaches is tennis coach Pawel Gajdzik.

“Being a good football coach is at a much higher demand than being a good tennis coach,” Deperna said.

He believes the salary numbers are balanced given each sport’s market size. The University will only give as much money as the sport makes, in Deperna’s eyes.

Tony Ersland, Purdue’s head wrestling coach, is the third-lowest paid, even though the team is ranked among the top 25 in the nation right now.

“If the market isn’t there for the sport, it’s tough to pay the coaches the kind of money they give to basketball and football,” Deperna said.

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