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NC State Coach Kevin Keatts Has Earned Millions From This March Madness Run

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About a month ago, the NC State Wolfpack men’s basketball team looked like your middling power conference team. They were 17-14 and had lost four games in a row to close out the regular season. It seemed like a second-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament was a dream that had slipped away.

But then, the Wolfpack got to the ACC Tournament and just kept winning. NC State won five games in five days, featuring victories over Duke and North Carolina and a wild buzzer-beater against Virginia. When the NCAA Tournament began, some analysts wondered if NC State had used up all its energy simply making it to the Field of 64. Turns out, that wasn’t the case at all. NC State stomped by Texas Tech, beat Oakland — who scored the tournament’s largest upset by knocking off Kentucky — then took care of Marquette and Duke.

Now, the Wolfpack are in the Final Four. And their head coach, Kevin Keatts, is going to make a ton of money because of it.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Keatts’ contract includes performance bonuses that this magical run has unlocked. After winning the ACC Tournament, Keatts made $100,000. He earned an extra $25,000 for making the NCAA Tournament and another $25,000 for the first-round victory. The team’s next three wins earned Keatts $50,000 apiece, giving him an extra $300,000 this year.

The majority of the earnings will kick in over the next several seasons. By reaching the Final Four, Keatts will earn a $500,000 pay increase that starts next year and continues over the duration of the contract. That contract also got extended by two years, pairing Keatts with the Wolfpack at least through April 15, 2030.

Keatts is currently making $2.9 million this year in total compensation from NC State, with $1.5 million coming from salary and the rest coming from other earnings like appearance fees and NIL deals. Add $500,000 to the existing four years of the contract, and that’s another $2 million.

The additional two years will give Keatts $3.4 million per season. Assuming Keatts stays with the Wolfpack through the duration of the contract, winning these last nine games netted him an extra $9.1 million. It could be even more than that, too—Keatts has traditionally gotten annual 2% to 4% raises, which could bump his total compensation closer to $10 million over the next six seasons.

It’s one of the greatest months a college coach has ever had. If the Wolfpack can win a couple of more games, Keatts stands to make more money. Even if the run ends against Purdue, Keatts earned over $9 million in 19 days. March Madness really does deliver incredible moments.





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