The University of Massachusetts recently announced a new contract extension for men’s basketball coach Derek Kellogg, who, with an annual salary of $994,500, is set to become the highest paid state employee in the Commonwealth.
The new contract comes immediately after the program’s most successful season in over a decade. The Minutemen were nationally ranked for much of the year, and made the NCAA “March Madness” Tournament for the first time since 1998. The deal extends Kellogg’s position through the 2018-2019 season, and replaces his previous contract, which had two years remaining. A native of Springfield, he played for Cathedral High School, then at UMass under John Calipari in the early 1990s, the glory days to which the state university’s most prominent athletic program has been trying to return ever since.
“I’m grateful to the university, and their commitment to the men’s basketball program,” Kellogg told the Advocate, adding that he believes his contract brings greater stability to the team, which will help keep it on the national scene.
“It’s tough to put a price tag on happiness,” continues Kellogg. “I’m ecstatic to be here, and I think the contract reflects that.”
Massachusetts now joins 40 other states whose highest paid public employee is a college coach, according to an article on Deadspin. Of those 40 employees, 27 are football coaches, 13 are basketball coaches (including University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma), and one (at the University of New Hampshire) is a hockey coach.
“He has built a solid foundation for the future,” UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon said in a statement. “We felt it was appropriate to put something together that the university and he are both comfortable with in terms of the extension to keep him here for a long time.”
The new contract raises the inevitable question: are highly paid college coaches worth their salaries? Do they offer a return on investment?