UW Limits Coach’s Bonus Earnings Despite Success
July 8, 2024

Lake Country Tribune

The University of Wisconsin’s director of cross country and track and field, Mick Byrne, was the most rewarded coach in bonuses for the spring season, earning over $27,000 for leading the Badgers to Big Ten championships and NCAA success. However, his total was limited by Wisconsin’s bonus policy, which awards higher rates for better finishes and additional bonuses for winning coach of the year awards.

The Athletic Board approved bonus payments for 14 coaches from spring sports at its June 7 meeting, as per a document released through Wisconsin’s Public Records Law according to BadgerExtra.

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The Rundown

Mick Byrne’s bonus, amounting to 14% of his base salary, included 2% for being named Big Ten coach of the year in men’s cross country and men’s indoor track, after winning conference titles.

Big Ten titles and team appearances in national meets each earned 5% bonuses, but bonuses are capped at 20%. Despite coaching multiple sports, Byrne can’t exceed this cap unless an NCAA team championship is involved.

Byrne, who also received a 14% bonus in 2023, has been the Big Ten men’s cross country coach of the year six times consecutively and ten times overall.

What About The Others?

While the Badgers’ cross country and track and field assistant coaches also got a 10% bonus, the coach who has been with the team for around 15 seasons, Dave Astrauskas, got just 2% for being named the Great Lakes region assistant coach of the year.

Qualifying for the NCAA Tournament earned women’s tennis coach Kelcy McKenna a 5% bonus, or $7,250, after the Badgers defeated William & Mary in the first round but lost to North Carolina. Director of rowing Chris Clark received a $3,489.06 bonus, and men’s rowing coach Beau Hoopman received $2,700, both earning 3% bonuses for qualifying for the Intercollegiate Rowing Association national championship, where Wisconsin finished 18th of 24 teams. Men’s golf coach Michael Wilson earned a 2% bonus, or $2,496.96, as Cameron Huss qualified for the NCAA championship and finished 51st.

The total bonus payments to Badgers coaches for the 2023-24 school year amounted to $771,588.89, a 19% increase from the previous year. Women’s hockey coach Mark Johnson received the highest bonus of the season, $114,883.20, after the Badgers played in the NCAA championship game. Volleyball coach Kelly Sheffield followed with $80,655.65 for the team’s Final Four appearance. Men’s basketball coach Greg Gard earned the third-highest bonus, $50,000, for the team’s NCAA Tournament appearance.

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