The Duke basketball program will look a lot different in the 2022-2023 college basketball season. It will also have a lot more money handy now that Coach K isn’t on salary.

Legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski retired after this past season following one more Final Four run in a career scattered with them. Coach K collected five national titles, 13 Final Fours, 15 ACC tournament championships, and 13 ACC regular-season titles during his 41-year stint with the Blue Devils. He also collected a whole lot of money for his efforts.

As a private school, Duke’s financial numbers aren’t always readily available. However, according to the school’s federal tax filings for 2020-2021, we now know that the school paid Krzyzewski over $12.5 million that year alone. For that time period, Krzyzewski’s earnings were more than the next highest-paid college basketball coach, Kansas’ Bill Self ($10.2 million), and even dwarfed the salary of the highest-paid football coach, Nick Saban ($9.8 million).

While Coach K’s salary for this past season won’t be known publicly for some time, we can assume that it was in the same ballpark. And though he’s certainly earned the right to make that kind of money, it’s also worth pointing out that, for all the complaining we hear about how college athletics programs don’t have money and are concerned about student-athletes generating money through NIL, the coaches are making off like bandits.

As Syracuse.com’s Chris Carlson points out, Coach K’s salary that year accounted for more than half of the revenue the program earned ($22.5 million).

Remember that the next time a college basketball coach bemoans the impact of money on the sport. Are they concerned about money influencing players or are they concerned it means less money in their own pockets?

The announcement of Krzyzewski’s salary certainly got people talking on Twitter, especially in light of recent discussions around player compensation and “guardrails” against that

[Daniel Libit, Sportico]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.