Cal Poly

How much money do Cal Poly coaches make? Here's a look at their contracts

Cal Poly baseball head coach Larry Lee.
Cal Poly baseball head coach Larry Lee. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

The Cal Poly athletics department will likely never employ a multimillion-dollar head coach like at Alabama, Ohio State and USC. But there are still plenty of coaches at the NCAA Division I school making healthy yearly salaries.

Cal Poly athletics provided The Tribune with the contracts for all 16 of its head coaches, whose average tenure is just shy of 11 years. In all, the contracts add up to just shy of $1.8 million per year.

The trends are what most would expect.

High-profile sports like football, baseball and basketball feature some of the highest paid coaches on campus, while coaches leading programs like women's golf and men's tennis make significantly less. Thirteen of the 16 head coaches make more than the median household income for San Luis Obispo County, according to U.S. Census data.

But more money didn't necessarily translate to success this past school year. The lowest paid coach at Cal Poly, sand volleyball's Todd Rodgers, led his team to its best season in program history. The highest paid on campus, men's basketball head coach Joe Callero, led his team to its fifth straight losing season.

All of the coaches are expected to return next school year, though the current contracts for women's tennis coach Katharina Winterhalter, swim and dive coach Thomas Milich, women's soccer coach Alex Crozier and baseball coach Larry Lee expire later this year.

Cal Poly athletics director Don Oberhelman, who helped negotiate each contract, expressed confidence in his current coaching staff in a recent interview with The Tribune.

"Right now we have great head coaches," Oberhelman said.

Here's a look at how much money (not including supplemental pay and bonuses) each coach made during the 2017-18 school year, how their teams fared and the details of their contracts, starting with the lowest paid on campus.

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Cal Poly beach volleyball coach Todd Rogers, center, speaks to his players during a match earlier this season. The Mustangs are scheduled to host the Big West Beach Volleyball Championships on Friday and Saturday at Pismo Beach. Paul Harrison Cal Poly Athletics

Todd Rogers, beach volleyball

Base Salary: $52,716

Seasons at Cal Poly: 3

Current Contract: 2016-2019

An Olympic gold medalist in 2008 who spent 20 years as a professional beach volleyball player, Rogers was an assistant with the UC Santa Barbara men’s indoor volleyball team before joining Cal Poly in 2016. Cal Poly had its best season in the program’s four-year history in 2018 and reached a No. 4 national ranking.

Sofie Aagaard, women’s golf

Base Salary: $55,008

Seasons at Cal Poly: 4

Current Contract: 2017-2021

Aagaard was named head coach in June of 2015. Previously she served as an assistant coach to former head coach Scott Cartwright for three seasons. She led Cal Poly to its first Big West Championship in the 17-year history of the program in 2017. Two players were named Second-Team All-Big West in 2018.

Katharina Winterhalter, women’s tennis

Base Salary: $58,008

Seasons at Cal Poly: 3

Current Contract: 2015-2018

Winterhalter was an assistant at Fresno City College before joining Cal Poly. During her tenure, she’s compiled a 15-45 record (5-19 Big West).

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Cal Poly men’s golf program head coach Scott Cartwright and women’s head coach Sofie Aagaard were on hand with the players who buddied with special needs participants to help them have a fun day golfing at the course. Cartwright, center, and Aagaard watch as Special Heroes participant Josh Hoobery, left, 21, of Santa Maria, practices drives. Laura Dickinson ldickinson@charter.net

Scott Cartwright, men’s golf

Base Salary: $66,024

Seasons at Cal Poly: 17

Current Contract: 2017-2021

Cartwright is a former golf pro at San Luis Obispo Country Club who has coached the men's team since 2001 and coached the women’s team from 2003-15. Cal Poly finished in sixth place at the 2018 Big West Conference Championship.

Nick Carless, men’s tennis

Base Salary: $68,280

Seasons at Cal Poly: 7

Current Contract: 2016-2019

Carless has led Cal Poly to two Big West Conference Tournament Championships and is a two-time Wilson ITA Southwest Region Coach of the Year (2014, 2017). Cal Poly was 18-7 (4-1 Big West) in 2018 and finished second in the Big West Conference Tournament Championship.

Jonathan Sioredas, wrestling

Base Salary: $81,000

Seasons at Cal Poly: 2

Current Contract: 2016-2019

In his first year at the helm, the Mustangs won more dual meets than in the previous five years. During his 11 years of coaching — three as a head coach and eight as an assistant — Sioredas has coached five top-25 teams, one NCAA Division I national finalist and four NCAA All-Americans. Cal Poly wrestlers went 155-201 overall during the 2017-18 season.

Thomas Milich, swim & dive

Base Salary: $84,360

Seasons at Cal Poly: 12

Current Contract: 2015-2018

Milich has sent swimmers to the NCAA Championships in five of the past eight years and saw five divers advance to the 2014, 2016 and 2017 NCAA Zone E Qualifying Meets. He has coached 20 individual conference champions while with the Mustangs.

Alex Crozier, women’s soccer

Base Salary: $86,328

Seasons at Cal Poly: 26

Current contract: 2017-2018

Crozier is the first and only coach of the women’s soccer team. He’s led Cal Poly to six NCAA Tournament appearances, three Big West Tournament championships (the last one came in 2003) and eight regular-season conference titles (the last one came in 2013). He’s been named Big West Coach of the Year four times. Cal Poly went 7-9-3 (2-4-2 Big West) in 2018; Crozier hasn’t had a winning season since 2014.

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Mark Conover in the new Cal Poly Track and Field coach. photo jayson Mellom 12-30-09 The Tribune

Mark Conover, track & field and cross country

Base Salary: $95,568

Seasons at Cal Poly: 22

Current Contract: 2016-2019

Conover, who was a member of the U.S. Olympic team at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, is a 19-time Big West Conference Coach of the Year for both the men’s and women’s track and field and cross country teams. He has led the Mustangs to 16 total appearances at the NCAA Cross Country Championships (with seven of those coming as a full team). Four track & field athletes won conference titles at the Big West Track & Field Championships in 2018.

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Cal Poly softball coach Jenny Condon. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Jenny Condon, softball

Base Salary: $105,228

Seasons at Cal Poly: 14

Current Contract: 2016-2019

Condon is a three-time Big West Conference Coach of the Year and led Cal Poly to the NCAA Tournament twice following Big West Conference titles in 2007 and 2009. Cal Poly finished fourth in the Big West last season with a 38-21 record and fifth in 2018 (25-25, 9-12 Big West).

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Steve Sampson was the manager of the United States Men's National Team and Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy before taking over the Cal Poly men's soccer program in 2014. Cal Poly Athletics

Steve Sampson, men’s soccer

Base Salary: $113,772

Seasons at Cal Poly: 3

Current Contract: 2014-2019

Sampson was the manager of the United States Men's National Team and Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy before taking over the Cal Poly men's soccer program in 2014. Sampson led Cal Poly to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in seven years, going 11-5-5 in his first season. He had a combined record of 12-19-4 over the next two seasons, missing out on the Big West Tournament in both years. Seven players coached by Sampson have gone on to professional careers.

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Cal Poly volleyball coach Sam Crosson gives directions during a practice at Mott Athletics Center earlier this season. The Mustangs host CSUN at 7 p.m. Friday. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Sam Crosson, women’s volleyball

Base Salary: $121,440

Seasons at Cal Poly: 6

Current Contract: 2017-2021

Crosson led Cal Poly to its best season in program history in 2017 with an undefeated Big West Conference title and a win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He has an overall record of 89-80.

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Cal Poly head baseball coach Larry Lee . Laura Dickinson ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

Larry Lee, baseball

Base Salary: $134,112

Seasons at Cal Poly: 16

Current Contract: 2014-2018

Lee has led Cal Poly to nine 30-win campaigns and has a 513-391-2 record in 16 seasons. Cal Poly has finished first in the Big West Conference once (2014), second five times (2005, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018) and earned three NCAA Division I playoff berths. During Lee’s tenure, 28 Mustangs have been drafted in the top 10 rounds and eight players have reached Major League Baseball.

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Cal Poly head coach Faith Mimnaugh and the bench were on their feet cheering as Poly rallied in the second half, but fell to UC Riverside in the final seconds of the women's semifinals of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim.Photo by Joe Johnston 03-12-10

Faith Mimnaugh, women’s basketball

Base Salary: $141,108

Seasons at Cal Poly: 21

Current Contract: 2017-2020

Mimnaugh has led Cal Poly to three Big West Conference championships since 2010-11, including an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2013. She’s also coached four Big West Players of the Year. Cal Poly finished second in the Big West (17-12) during the 2017-18 season.

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Cal Poly head football coach Tim Walsh. David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Tim Walsh, football

Base Salary: $233,256

Seasons at Cal Poly: 9

Current Contract: 2017-2021

Walsh has a 51-52 record during his run with Cal Poly with two playoff appearances and no playoff wins. Cal Poly went 1-10 in 2017, marking the worst season for the football program since 1964. He led the school to a Great West Conference title in 2011 and a share of the Big Sky Conference crown and an NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoff berth in 2012. For comparison, Sacramento State head coach Jody Sears, who led his team to a fourth-place Big Sky finish in 2018, made $195,881 in 2017, according to a Sacramento Bee salary data base

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Cal Poly men's basketball head coach Joe Callero has led the Mustangs to five-straight losing seasons. David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Joe Callero, men’s basketball

Base Salary: $263,328

Seasons at Cal Poly: 9

Current Contract: 2017-2020

Since taking the job in 2009, Callero has coached two teams to above .500 records and has a winning percentage of .427 (120-161). Callero found success early in his tenure and led Cal Poly to two 18-win seasons in 2011-12 and 2012-13 and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2014 following a Big West Conference Tournament championship. Cal Poly's 9-22 record (4-12, 7th Big West) in 2018 was the worst in Callero's nine-year tenure and marked his fifth straight losing season. He helped develop David Nwaba, the first Cal Poly player to make it to the NBA.

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