Sunday, August 10, 2008


Woodling: Self’s contract a rarity


Uh, oh. Another 10-year contract.

That was my knee-jerk reaction to the news Kansas University had awarded men's basketball coach Bill Self a 10-year pact.

Decade-long deals for coaches are rare. I know of only two and, in both cases, the recipient failed to make it to the max.

Self is, in fact, the second KU coach to secure a 10-year contract. The first was Jack Mitchell, a gregarious football mentor who endeared himself to the KU masses with that famous 23-7 victory over previously unbeaten Missouri at the end of the 1960 season.

A few months later, in March of 1961, the Kansas Board of Regents approved a recommendation that guaranteed Mitchell would remain the Jayhawks' football coach through 1971.

In 1966, however, in the wake of a 2-7-1 tailspin - the tie was a soporific 3-3 wash against a dreadful Kansas State team - KU terminated Mitchell's contract.

How much did it cost to buy Mitchell out? A whopping $56,000 paid in $14,000 installments over the next four years. In today's dollars, 14 grand is a drop in the bucket for Kansas Athletics Inc.

The other 10-year coaching contract I recall is the one the Chiefs gave Hank Stram a year after Kansas City won Super Bowl IV in 1970. That package called for Stram to receive the then-princely sum of $100,000 a year for the next decade.

How long did Stram last? Three years. He was fired after the 1974 season.

OK, I hear what you're saying. Mitchell and Stram were football coaches, and the shelf life of a football coach is usually shorter than a basketball coach, particularly at Kansas, a school where the average basketball coaching tenure is a relatively astronomical 13.8 years.

About three weeks ago, Kansas also awarded football coach Mark Mangino a new contract. Mangino's pact runs only through 2012, however, while Self is guaranteed employment through 2018.

Back in Mitchell's heyday, the KU faculty was generally outraged that a football coach would be treated so royally because, in addition to the long contract, Mitchell was earning a whopping $20,000 a year.

Not so much do professors grouse anymore, though. In contemporary times, faculty - most of them, anyway - understand how the marketplace has driven coaching salaries through the atrium.

Who would have believed even 10 years ago that the KU men's basketball coach would be banking $3 million a year and the Jayhawks' football coach would be pocketing $2.3 million?

When Mangino was hired prior to the 2002 season, his total annual package was estimated at about $600,000. When Self came here prior to the 2003-2004 season, his total income was about $1.3 million.

Thus Mangino's take-home pay has nearly quadrupled after six seasons on Mount Oread while Self's has more than doubled his bank account after five years.

In the big picture, the bottom may have fallen out of the housing market and the nation's economy may be in the pits, but coaching salaries continue to skyrocket, Kevlar vests to inflationary bullets.


yates33333 11 years, 6 months ago

Despite the achievements of Coach Self, which are great as befits a great coach, the achievement of Coach Mangino are greater. KU is and has largely been an outstanding basketball school, but it has been mostly a bummer in football. Mangino has changed that. I hope not temporarily. And, of course, I know Self will continue the tradition in BB.

5DecadeHawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Good grief. Here we go again. Why do some people have to try to gripe, complain, and get all worked up over whether Mangino or Self has done a better job or is a better coach?I'm happy that we have both coaches and that we have both of them committed for the long haul. Each coach has expressed how delighted they are about the other coach's success. During the Orange bowl trophy ceremony Mangino said:"Hey listen, we're pretty dog gone good in basketball. We're good in football too, and those days are over of just being one dimensional. The University of Kansas wants to be good at a lot of things. Our fans want us to be good at a lot of things, and this is just another step for a great university.Hear it for yourself at the 1:45 mark: Self says about KU Football, "We're good." and comments that FB success helps other areas.source:'s obvious that each coach is happy about the other coach's success and wants to see more.It would be nice if ALL of our fans could agree on that.

5DecadeHawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Which one didn't reach maturity?Eustachy? or his Contract?(I say neither reached maturity.)

11 years, 6 months ago

"Decade-long deals for coaches are rare. I know of only two and, in both cases, the recipient failed to make it to the max."------------------------I believe Larry Eustachy signed a 10yr deal in 2001 with Iowa State, also one of which did not reach its maturity.

Joe Ross 11 years, 6 months ago

Woodling: Self's contract a raritySelf: Woodling's contract a mystery

KUbsee69 11 years, 6 months ago

Success breeds loyalty. Failure brings on the fickle fans followed by unemployment.As Jack Mitchell's star was fading, the students had a "Senior Day" cheer (do they still do that?) that went as follows:"Give'em Hell Jack Mitchell, give'em Hell !""Give'em Hell Jack Mitchell, give'em Hell !""Oh Hell, give'em Jack Mitchell !!!"And he went ...

11 years, 6 months ago

"Woodling: Self's contract a raritySelf: Woodling's contract a mystery"Pretty funny jross1972. I just hope for your sake that no one defends Mr. Woodling to you with the same fire and passion as you use to shield Mr. Mayer :)

Joe Ross 11 years, 6 months ago

someone defending a Mizzou alum? On THESE BOARDS? WHERE!?

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

To give an idea of just how far coaching salaries have gotten out of hand, consider that Jack Mitchell's $20,000/yr. salary in 1961 would be worth $146,365/yr. today using a CPI inflator available at the link below: 2008 dollars, Self earns 20 times more per year than Jack Mitchell earns. Why are today's coaches worth 20 times more to universities?Answers: 1. Spiking TV revenues--TV revenues have probably skyrocketed along with coaches salaries.2. Player overhead has probably risen at a slower rate than TV revenues.Coaches are grabbing more of the surplus.Once again proof that the world is inequitable.If anyone has figures on TV revenues and player overhead that can be run through the CPI inflator, please test my guestimated answers.Post Script: yes, the CPI understates real inflation, especially the last 8, but even it doesn't appear to be off 20 times.

agraves 11 years, 6 months ago

didn't bobby petrino sign a 10 year deal with Louisville before he bailed to Atlanta which eventually led to him bailing to Ar-KANSAS? so there is another 10 year deal gone south but I am not putting HCBS in the same category as Petrino. HCBS is a man of class and integrity who cares about a lot more than his contract...I.e getting his assistants pay facilities built...upgrades to living conditions...then they got his deal done

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