2021 Autonomy 5 Baseball Head Coach Compensation Survey

Introduction & Methodology


The following spreadsheet contains a summary of primary economic terms compiled from a review of all forms of compensation for the head baseball coaches at National Collegiate Athletic Association institutions of the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conferences (the, “Autonomy 5’). Employment Agreements for public school coaches were obtained in partnership with USAToday and private school compensation, where available, was obtained from the schools’ most recently available IRS Form 990s. Compensation amounts were normalized pursuant to a standard methodology.


Click here to view the database and here to review a short description of our methodology for calculating the amounts shown therein.


The average total compensation for this cohort has steadily increased from $437,00 in 2017-2018, to $589,000 in 2019-2020 to the current total compensation average of $632,014. And the current total compensation average will undoubtedly further increase as contract information becomes available throughout the summer from new coach hires at elite programs (e.g., Texas A&M & LSU) as well as contract extensions and renegotiations. Furthermore, nearly 40% of the employment agreements for Autonomy 5 baseball coaches include bonus provisions tied to base salary or total compensation, which creates a significant compensation compounding effect (See more). Payout amounts (severance payments owed by the University to the coach upon a termination without cause) and buyout amounts (liquidated damages owed to the University from the coach upon his resignation) were calculated as of July 1, 2021.


Autonomy 5 baseball coaches have typically enjoyed relatively long tenures. But as their compensation escalates and athletics departments’ stretch to accommodate this market among many competing expenses (including the cost of more competitive academic benefits authorized by the Supreme Court’s recent Alston decision), the velocity of turnover among college baseball coaches will more closely resemble that of their coach colleagues in football and basketball.


Summary of Findings


Total Compensation (Average) By Conference



Bonuses Available (Maximum Available Dollar Amount)




As we found in our last survey of Autonomy 5 head baseball coaches, compared to Autonomy 5 head baseball coaches (MBB & WBB), head football coaches and athletics directors, bonuses represent a disproportionately high percentage of available compensation.


Buyouts / Payouts (Average)


Buyouts” are the amount that would be due from a coach that voluntarily terminates his employment agreement before its expiration.  “Payouts” are the amount that would be payable to a coach that is terminated by the University, without “Cause”, prior to the expiration of the employment agreement.






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