Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon will become the first WNBA coach to exceed $1 million in salary, Aces’ owner Mark Davis confirmed to Sam Gordon of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“Little girls, guys, anybody can look at her and say, ‘She’s just like me. A small basketball player who’s retired and she got the job and she’s making a million dollars. I can do that too,’” Davis said. “That was really important to me to bring in that kind of value.”
Hammon will make her return to the WNBA after retiring as a player in 2014. Upon her departure from the league, she joined the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach. Her reported salary while with the Spurs had been around $750,000.
She had long been considered a potential replacement for Gregg Popovich when he retires.
Upon taking the job with the Aces in early January, Hammon said that the move to the WNBA was a “step in the right direction.”
“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this opportunity that I have,” she said. “There’s something to being a head coach.
“I feel like I’m ready to have my own team. And this is the organization that made it very, very obvious they wanted me really, really bad. And so it’s always good to be wanted.”
Several women’s college basketball coaches make above $1 million a year, including Adia Barnes and Dawn Staley, who both signed contract extensions during the offseason. Staley is currently one of the highest-paid coaches in women’s basketball.