Dissecting UMass coach’s bonus-laden salary

Derek Kellogg is state's highest-paid employee

DEREK KELLOGG, the UMass men’s basketball coach, is the highest paid public employee in Massachusetts, but you’d never know it looking at his base salary.

Kellogg’s base salary is $225,000, but he also receives $769,000 in quarterly installments for participating in speaking engagements set up by the school and for appearing on weekly and game-related telecasts. In addition, he received bonuses and incentives last year that brought his annual salary to $1.2 million. He stands to make about the same amount this year, although his pay could rise to as high as $1.5 million if he maxes out on all his bonuses.

The second-highest-paid UMass employee last year was former UMass football coach Charlie Molnar, who made $963,000, mainly from a buyout of his contract when he was fired at the end of the season. Dr. Michael Collins earned $897,000 last year as chancellor of the UMass Medical School in Worcester.

Kellogg’s total salary is based on public appearances, his team’s performance on the court and in the classroom, and fan turnout at home games. The $769,000 for speaking engagements is scheduled to rise 2 percent a year through the end of his contract in 2019, which could be extended through 2021.

Kellogg receives a $20,000 bonus if the academic performance of the students on his team is slightly above the minimum required by the NCAA. The bonus goes as high as $40,000 if their academic performance matches the national average for Division 1 schools. Kellogg also gets a $20,000 bonus if at least 85 percent of the team graduates and $40,000 if more than 95 percent do. The most recent data indicate 50 percent of men’s basketball players graduated.

He receives a $75,000 bonus if his team qualifies for the NCAA’s March Madness tournament and $25,000 for each win. He also receives extra money if the team wins 20 or more games, wins the Atlantic 10 Conference title, or makes it into the final four or wins the National Invitation Tournament. There is even extra money if the team’s schedule is among the toughest in the country.

Kellogg’s contract dwarfs his colleagues at the Amherst campus but puts him slightly above average for Division 1 basketball coaches around the country, according to data compiled by the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University. University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari, the former UMass coach and a mentor to Kellogg, tops all coaches at $6.4 million. He is followed by Duke University’s Mike Krzyzewski and University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, a former UMass point guard, at a little more than $6 million each.

Compared to coaches who made the NCAA tournament in March this year, which UMass failed to do, Kellogg would have ranked 36th out of the 68 coaches in terms of salary, according to the data. The average salary of the coaches in the tournament was roughly $1.4 million, a little less than what Kellogg’s contract calls for if he makes most of his bonuses.

But nearly all the coaches at or above Kellogg’s pay scale have much longer tenures and more success at their current and prior schools. Kellogg, who was hired by UMass in 2008 for his first head-coaching job, got the multi-year extension last year that guarantees him at least $7.1 million after just two of five winning seasons, neither of which ended in a spot in the NCAA tournament. The only time the school has made the NCAA tournament in Kellogg’s tenure was in 2014, when the sixth-seeded Minutemen lost to 11th-seeded Tennessee in the first round.

Meet the Author

Jack Sullivan

Senior Investigative Reporter, CommonWealth

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan is a veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for nearly three decades. Prior to joining CommonWealth, he was editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. As the Ledger editorial page editor, he won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

At CommonWealth, Jack and editor Bruce Mohl won first place for In-Depth Reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors for a look at special education funding in Massachusetts. The same organization also awarded first place to a unique collaboration between WFXT-TV (FOX25) and CommonWealth for a series of stories on the Boston Redevelopment Authority and city employees getting affordable housing units, written by Jack and Bruce.

A Boston native, Jack has lived in Massachusetts all his life. He was a major in English and history with a minor in political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. A father and grandfather, he lives in Plymouth with his wife, Susan.

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan is a veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for nearly three decades. Prior to joining CommonWealth, he was editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. As the Ledger editorial page editor, he won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

At CommonWealth, Jack and editor Bruce Mohl won first place for In-Depth Reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors for a look at special education funding in Massachusetts. The same organization also awarded first place to a unique collaboration between WFXT-TV (FOX25) and CommonWealth for a series of stories on the Boston Redevelopment Authority and city employees getting affordable housing units, written by Jack and Bruce.

A Boston native, Jack has lived in Massachusetts all his life. He was a major in English and history with a minor in political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. A father and grandfather, he lives in Plymouth with his wife, Susan.

Kellogg also gets some perks, including permission to use UMass facilities to run basketball camps for children ranging in age from 4 to 18 who pay between $125 and $250 a week, according to a brochure for the camp. Kellogg pays 3 percent of the camp’s gross revenue to UMass for “indirect costs.” Kellogg also had a clause in his contract that added a one-time $200,000 to the team’s travel budget, which was used this summer to pay for a three-game exhibition swing through London and Paris.

Kellogg’s salary arrangement far exceeds the pay packages of his fellow coaches at UMass. Head football coach Mark Whipple earned a total of $379,808 last year. Hockey coach John Micheletto earned $237,032, and women’s basketball coach Sharon Dawley earned $237,859. Each of the coaches’ salaries includes bonus money, but far less than Kellogg. The salaries of the four coaches place them in the top one-tenth of 1 percent of the more than 127,000 employees on the state payroll.