Arizona Wildcats basketball coach Sean Miller is the 8th-highest paid public employee in America

Posted at 11:13 PM, Sep 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-22 02:15:30-04

During his seven years in Tucson, Sean Miller has coached the Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team to three conference championships and several deep NCAA Tournament runs. He also just landed the nation's No. 1 recruit.

Miller is well compensated for those accomplishments. In fact, only seven public employees in the United States -- all of whom are also collegiate head coaches -- earned more than him last year, according to a study by 24/7 Wall St.

The 47-year-old Miller earned $4.95 million last year, making him Arizona's highest-paid public employee and the eighth-highest paid public employee in America.

He's also the second-highest paid among basketball coaches. The only basketball coach to earn more last year was Kentucky's John Calipari ($6.88 million).

The craziest part? Miller apparently could have made a lot more.

"Miller's pay is partly financed by an anonymous donation of oil shares the school received in 2014 and is therefore tied to the price of oil," the report said. "With oil prices falling by as much as 70 percent since then, Miller may have lost up to $2.6 million in potential compensation."

Alabama football coach Nick Saban is the nation's top-paid public employee; he earned $7.09 million last year. Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh ($7 million) is second, followed by Calipari, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer ($5.86 million) and Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops ($5.86 million).

Rounding out the top 10 are Texas football coach Charlie Strong ($5.16 million), Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher ($5.15 million), Miller, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self ($4.94 million) and Penn State football coach James Franklin ($4.4 million).

For comparison's sake, ASU men's basketball coach Bobby Hurley, whom the Sun Devils hired in the summer of 2015, had a base salary of $1.2 million in his first season in Tempe. noted collegiate coaches are the highest paid public employees in 39 out of 50 states.