Belichick is 2d highest-paid coach

By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / May 24, 2010

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Try to find out details of Bill Belichick’s contract, and the answer is always the same: Only Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft know, and that’s the way it’s going to stay.

Forbes has changed that. The magazine, known for its lists of the world’s richest people and richest entertainers, among others, has released a list of the highest-paid coaches in American professional sports.

Somewhat surprisingly, Belichick is second on the list.

According to Forbes, Belichick makes $7.5 million per year, tops among NFL coaches but a good amount behind Lakers Zen master Phil Jackson. Jackson, who has won 10 NBA titles – six with the Bulls in the 1990s and four with the Lakers — and could add an 11th this year, earns $10.3 million a season.

Belichick reportedly has four years remaining on his contract; around the time of Spygate in 2007, news leaked that he had signed an extension through at least 2013. It was seen as confirmation from Kraft that despite the scandal he backed the coach who had brought three Super Bowl titles to Foxborough.

Belichick is also the de facto general manager of his team, with final say on personnel matters.

While it is hard to quibble about the salaries paid to Jackson and Belichick, arguably the best coaches in their leagues (Jackson’s career winning percentage is .705, while Belichick’s is .617 despite his mediocre record with the Browns), some others on the list are seemingly being paid more for style than substance.

There is a trio each pulling down $7 million a year: New Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, who won two Super Bowls with the Broncos, returned to the coaching ranks this year, as did former Patriots coach Pete Carroll, now with the Seahawks. Carroll’s had limited success in two previous stints as an NFL head coach, but he won two national titles at Southern Cal. Charlotte Bobcats mentor Larry Brown has won one NBA title, but is known more for having coached 10 pro teams in his career.

Others on the Forbes top 10: the New York Knicks’ Mike D’Antoni, who has no titles and a .544 winning percentage; the Golden State Warriors’ Don Nelson, who also is without a title, but has the most victories in NBA history; and the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, who has four NBA titles and has never had a losing season in 13 years, all of whom make $6 million per. The Tennessee Titans’ Jeff Fisher, with the longest tenure among current NFL coaches, earns $5.75 million per season, while the Celtics’ Doc Rivers earns $5.5 million a year.

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