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Harvard’s Men’s Teams Continue to See Higher Coaching Salaries and Budgets Than Women’s Teams

By Paton D. Roberts and Sophia C. Scott, Crimson Staff Writers

Harvard paid the head coaches of its men’s varsity teams roughly $30,000 more on average than their counterparts leading women’s teams last year, according to a yearly report filed by the Athletics Department.

In 2022, the average salary for the head coach of a men’s team was $137,709, while the head coach of a women’s team earned $107,216, according to data reported to the U.S. Department of Education. On average, assistant coaches for men’s teams earned $63,469 versus $51,682 for assistant coaches of women’s teams.

“All coaches for each sport are evaluated on the same compensation criteria,” Harvard spokesperson Jonathan Palumbo wrote in an emailed statement.

Since 2018, salaries for Harvard Athletics head coaches have grown steadily, with the gap between the men’s and women’s teams narrowing only slightly. In the 2015-16 academic year, women’s team head coaches made approximately $34,000 less than head coaches of men’s teams — in 2022, that difference stood at $30,493.

In comparison to other Ivy League schools, Harvard’s salary discrepancy ranks among the smallest, trailing only Princeton. In 2022, Princeton paid the head coaches of its men’s teams an average of $172,495, in comparison to $143,987 for women’s team coaches.

Harvard publishes compensation data in compliance with the 1994 Congressional Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, a component of Title IX that prohibits sex discrimination in athletic opportunities for universities that receive federal funds.

Title IX is a federal law that mandates equal treatment and opportunities for male and female student-athletes within educational institutions like Harvard. This encompasses providing equal facilities, equipment, chances to participate in sports, and support services.

The majority of Harvard’s student-athletes are male. According to the Ed Department data, there were 663 male athletes compared to 528 female athletes at Harvard in the 2021-22 academic year.

During that academic year, the Athletics Department allocated $14,400,428 to men’s teams and $10,045,345 to women’s teams for operating expenses. Notably, men’s teams spent $821,855 on recruiting, a substantial amount more than women’s teams, which spent $377,273 in the same year.

In the 2021-22 academic year, 1,191 undergraduates participated in varsity sports out of 7,095 students enrolled at the College.

During the 2020-21 EADA reporting year, the Covid-19 pandemic precluded Harvard from holding any intercollegiate athletic competitions, but the University spent $147,178 on recruiting athletes to men’s teams and $45,879 on recruiting for women’s teams, for a total of $193,057 overall.

In 2017, the Athletics Department conducted an investigation into gender equity in athletics following high-profile scandals in previous years involving men’s sports teams at Harvard.

The investigation’s conclusion in September 2017 led to revisions to the process of filing gender inequity complaints and additional conflict resolution training for coaches and staff.

—Staff writer Paton D. Roberts can be reached at paton.roberts@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X at @paton_dr.

—Staff writer Sophia C. Scott can be reached at sophia.scott@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X at @ScottSophia_.

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