First and foremost, congratulations to Coach Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals on winning this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. They deserve all the acclaim and praise for their accomplishments and success.

That being said, winning the national championship comes at a cost.

According to Bloomberg News, Pitino stands to make $425,000 in bonuses for guiding Louisville’s championship season in addition to his $5.7 million salary this year. However, one would never tell that he received a bonus after examining his tax liability.

With Pitino’s earnings for this year placing him in the top bracket of tax rates prior to his championship bonus, the coach can expect his total tax burden to be 51.6 percent.

That makes his total tax liability an estimated $3.16 million. Coach Pitino’s tax burden and liability is calculated as follows:

Federal Income

Tax Rate



State and Local

Tax Burden


Tax Burden





For illustrative purposes, the total tax burden is applied only to his base salary and championship bonus for this year. The state and local tax rate includes the city of Louisville’s 2.2 percent resident income tax rate and Kentucky’s 6 percent top marginal state income tax rate.

For the only coach to win a national championship with two college basketball programs, his after tax pay is roughly $2.96 million: $200,000 less than what he will pay in taxes.

Simply put, over half his earnings go towards the federal, state, and city governments. And that’s for someone in the top marginal income brackets living in Louisville, Kentucky.

It also doesn’t help that Kentucky is one of the handful of states that levy a city or county income tax – for both residents and non-residents – in addition to state income tax rates.  Imagine what his tax liability and burden would be if he coached and won a championship at colleges in California, New York, or D.C.