Pitino assistant Young to earn more than Tubby Smith’s assistants

Andrew Krammer

Richard Pitino’s newly hired assistant coach Kimani Young will take home more money than any of former coach Tubby Smith’s assistants.

And Pitino hasn’t even named his top guy yet.

Ron Jirsa, Smith’s go-to assistant, made around $162,000 last year, according to the Pioneer Press.

Young, 39, was convicted of felony drug possession in 1999 and will make $185,000 base pay in a one-year deal, per his contract obtained by the Minnesota Daily.

Both Young and Mike Balado followed Pitino from Florida International, where Pitino’s salary was $250,000 — compared to $1.2 million at Minnesota. Smith, whose assistants were paid $90,000 to $160,000, took home $1.8 million per year.

Young’s duties began Thursday as an assistant coach while Balado will take over basketball operations.

Here’s a breakdown of Balado and Young’s boilerplate contracts:

(Beginning April 11, 2013)

$185,000 base pay
1 year
Company car
Moving expenses

$80,000 base pay
1 year
Company car
Moving expenses

The two coaches’ pay, specifically Young’s, is competitive with Big Ten salaries – however, their job security and no incentives make the agreements less appealing.

For example, Michigan signed three of its assistants to extensions in May – not one got less than three years and $155,000 per year. All three Wolverines assistants have incentives for Big Ten and NCAA Tournament performance.

Rumors swirled Thursday night that Ben Johnson, current assistant coach at Nebraska, will be named another Pitino assistant soon.

Johnson, 32, has been in Nebraska for one season and was interviewed by Pitino in Atlanta (site of the NCAA Final Four) on Monday, according to 1500ESPN. Johnson is a former Gophers player and DeLaSalle high school standout – where local prized recruit Reid Travis is graduating from.