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Coyle, Gophers’ highest paid coaches take 10% paycuts

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Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle and the school’s five highest-paid head coaches have agreed to take a 10% pay cut for the first six months of the upcoming fiscal year to help offset revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coyle announced the pay cuts on Thursday for him, football coach P.J. Fleck, men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino, women’s basketball coach Lindsay Whalen, men’s hockey coach Bob Motzko and volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon. The group of six previously took a one-week voluntary salary reduction, enacted last month. The university said the combined savings from the reductions will be about $615,000. Fleck is the highest earner, at $4.6 million in 2020.

“I appreciate their dedication to Minnesota and willingness to help in a time of financial uncertainty,” Coyle said.

The next fiscal year starts on July 1. Coyle told the Board of Regents last week that the department is on pace to finish the current fiscal year with a $4 million deficit. The 2019-20 operating budget for Gophers sports was $123 million. The athletic department has projected a loss of up to $75 million of expected revenue under the worst-case scenario of a canceled 2020 football season. A milder hit of $30 million in lost income is forecast if football games are played without fans.

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