Arizona Women's Basketball

Arizona Wildcats’ Adia Barnes Earning Bonuses On, Off Court, About to Receive Retention Bonus

Arizona coach Adia Barnes is less than three weeks from receiving a retention bonus of $25,000, and it is obvious the Wildcats are getting a productive return on their investment with her coaching her alma mater.

As part of her restructured contract that was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents last June, Barnes will get a retention bonus of $25,000 if she is Arizona’s coach on July 1. Her annual retention bonuses will escalate by another $25,000 each year, culminating in a $100,000 bonus if she is still Arizona’s coach on July 1, 2023.

How this factors in today’s economics with the COVID-19 pandemic putting a pinch on school budgets is uncertain. It was announced last month that athletic director Dave Heeke, Barnes and her fellow coaches Kevin Sumlin, Sean Miller and Jay Johnson will have a 20 percent reduction in their pay because their salaries are in excess of $200,000.

Barnes’ base salary increased from $235,000 through 2018-19 to $407,500 starting this school year (2019-20) after two separate increases last June and August.

Adia Barnes’ 23 regular-season wins this season resulted in a $5,000 bonus (Arizona Athletics photo)

Factoring her annual increasing retention bonus through the end of her contract in 2023-24, Barnes will be scheduled to receive $507,500 that school year.

The Wildcats’ success on the court and in the classroom in 2019-20 has enabled Barnes to earn additional pay through bonuses. With a growing family, the extra money helps. Barnes and husband Salvo Coppa, who have a 5-year old son (Matteo), are expecting a daughter in September.

The cancellation of the NCAA tournament because of the COVID-19 pandemic cost Barnes the $10,000 bonus she would have received for coaching the Wildcats that far. She also could have earned escalated bonuses for winning games in the tournament up to $50,000 for an NCAA title.

The Wildcats finished 24-7 overall and were ranked No. 12 in the final AP Top 25 poll. With that ranking (between No. 11-15), she received a $5,000 bonus. She earned an additional $5,000 bonus for winning 23 regular-season games (one of the 24 wins was in the Pac-12 tournament).

Academically, Barnes has earned a $10,000 bonus for her team’s Academic Progress Rating (APR) threshold of 971 reached in 2018-19 with a four-year average of 991. Those numbers were released last month.

Barnes is in position to earn potentially a $45,000 bonus for the team’s grade-point average (GPA) in 2019-20. If the Wildcats average at least a 3.69 GPA, she would earn that bonus. If the Wildcats have an average GPA of 3.30 and 3.68 she will earn a bonus of $30,000.

On Friday, Barnes tweeted that the team’s spring semester GPA was 3.653.

If Wildcats’ GPA in 2019-20 is between 3.00 and 3.29, Barnes will get a $15,000 bonus. If they achieve between 2.80 and 2.99 the bonus is $7,500.

Five of her players were listed on the Pac-12 Winter Academic Honor Roll:

Tara Manumaleuga (Undeclared major)
Bryce Nixon (General Studies) … Nixon has since transferred to Santa Clara
Cate Reese (Pre-Business)
Tee Tee Starks (Master’s in Educational Leadership)
Sam Thomas (Psychology)

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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