Tracing Pat's pay

The new contract signed by Lady Vol basketball coach Pat Summitt will pay her an average of $108,333.33 per month over the course of the next six years. That represents a pretty significant boost from the $741.67 monthly salary UT paid her in 1975.

Pat Head (she had not yet married Sevierville banker R.B. Summitt) was not exactly rolling in dough as a rookie coach. She made a paltry $8,900 in 1975, her first full year on The Hill. Eight years later, her 1983 salary was still a modest $24,000.

Success breeds success … and money, however. National titles in 1987, '89 and ‘91 got her a bump to $130,000 by 1993. As her fame grew, so did her salary. Tennessee anted up another $100,000 (to $230,000) by 1995.

Not surprisingly, three consecutive national titles in '96, '97 and '98 saw her salary more than double (to $565,000) in time for the 2000 season. Three Final Fours over the next four years failed to net a national title but they netted her a pay boost to $824,500 in 2004.

The new deal Summitt signed this week averages out to $1.3 million per annum. There are incentive clauses that can push the total still higher, according to Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN.com.

Pat's parents, Richard and Hazel Head, were dairy farmers in rural West Tennessee. It's a safe bet they never dreamed their eldest daughter would be a millionaire someday. Pat seems a bit overwhelmed by it, too.

"Oh, my goodness," she told Wojciechowski. "This is more than I ever expected going into coaching, especially the way I started out."

No wonder. Dividing $1.3 million by 365 days produces a salary of $3,561 per day. She now makes more money in three days ($10,683) than she made in her first full year on the job ($8,900). Even with the cost of living figured in, that's pretty impressive.


Inside Tennessee Top Stories