The Effect of Performance, Experience and Football Programs on College Volleyball Coaches’ Salaries



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Multiple studies have investigated the pay-performance relationship for coaches of college football and basketball. Typically football and basketball programs are responsible for generating the majority of revenue within athletics departments. However, little research has been done on the determinants of compensation for coaches of “nonrevenue” sports like women’s volleyball. It is also unclear how maintaining high profile sports like football and basketball impacts other sports programs within an athletics department. The purpose of my study is to test whether and how a volleyball coach’s salary depends on past performance and experience. I also examine how the financial success of a football program affects a volleyball coach’s compensation. After reviewing existing literature and applicable theoretical models I estimate an OLS log-linear model of volleyball coach compensation to test three hypotheses. These hypotheses each predict positive effects of a coach’s experience, past performance and the revenue generated from football on a coach’s compensation. I collect data for NCAA Division I volleyball coaches at public colleges and universities using state transparency databases. My findings provide strong support for a pay-performance relationship, but cannot confirm an effect that experience might have on pay. My results also show a positive effect of the financial success of a football program on wage, but indicate that there is a level of football program revenue below which a volleyball coach would benefit more from the lack of a program.



sports, performance pay, OLS, regression analysis, salaries, compensation, human capital theory