Looking at the Bill Self contract extension

Kansas head coach Bill Self smiles at Kentucky head coach John Calipari as the two sit for makeup before their joint CBS interview on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at the Superdome.

Kansas head coach Bill Self smiles at Kentucky head coach John Calipari as the two sit for makeup before their joint CBS interview on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at the Superdome. by Nick Krug

By now, you’ve probably read about, or at least heard about, the contract extension that Kansas University men’s basketball coach Bill Self agreed to recently.

The extension, which, if fulfilled, will guarantee Self just over $53 million over the next 10 seasons, locks up the KU coach through the 2021-22 season and further cements him as not only one of the best coaches in college basketball but also one of the most highly-compensated coaches in all of sports.

I’m sure you’d be hard-pressed to find a person around here — whether they’re a KU fan or not — who believes that Self is not worth that kind of money.

• It should be noted, that the previous statement was made assuming you’re talking about people who already have accepted that contracts for both coaches and players are what they are and, outrageous or not, represent the going rate.•

OK, so back to the contract. Like most contracts these days, Self’s new ink includes all kinds of incentives.

• Regular-season conference championship ($50,000)
• Conference postseason tournament championship ($25,000)
• AP Coach of the Year ($100,000)
• Final Four appearance ($150,000)
• NCAA Championship ($200,000)

You know what else it includes? Thanks to a Tweet sent out by ESPN’s Darren Rovell, who was at least the first to announce that he did the math, it includes Self making $14,978 per day. Per day!!! Rovell also pointed out that for the cost of Self’s contract, the folks at KU could build 2.5 Allen Fieldhouses. I’m not exactly sure where those numbers came from, but they sound about right and they put the value of Self’s contract into even greater perspective.

You know what else puts it in perspective? Seeing where Self now ranks among college basketball’s highest-paid coaches.

According to this USA Today data base, Self is now the fourth highest paid college hoops coach in the country, trailing only Kentucky's John Calipari, Louisville's Rick Pitino and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski. The top of the board has changed a little since this report from Forbes Magazine was released last March.

Here’s the current list:

• John Calipari, Kentucky — $5.38 million
• Rick Pitino, Louisville — $4.81 million
• Mike Krzyzewski, Duke — $4.69 million
• Bill Self, Kansas — $3.85 million
• Billy Donovan, Florida — $3.64 million

Kansas head coach Bill Self gets down to energize his defense against North Carolina during the first half on Sunday,  March 25, 2012 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Kansas head coach Bill Self gets down to energize his defense against North Carolina during the first half on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. by Nick Krug

Talk about some heavy hitters and some big-time programs. Again, no surprise there, but it still is interesting to see how things sit. One other interesting note from that March article was the fact that, 31 college basketball coaches — including five in the women’s ranks — make at least $1 million per year. The information came from data compiled by USA Today and other sources, the article said.

Something else the Forbes article pointed out that I thought was pretty interesting was that college coaches, especially the good ones, often are paid such high salaries because they are the marquee names at their schools year in and year out.

Sure you get the guys like Thomas Robinson or Mario Chalmers or Paul Pierce coming through for a few years at a time, but they come and go. The coaches stay (at least the winners) and, therefore, compensating them at a high level is easier to do and more beneficial for the universities than it would be for NBA franchises, which are driven by the salaries and superstardom of their top players.

So what does all this mean? Not a whole lot, I guess. Self made a lot of money before this weekend and he still makes a lot of money now. But it certainly is interesting to see how it all breaks down, where it all comes from and where it puts Self in the ultra-competitive coaching world. You think these guys are only competitive during games and in recruiting? No way. You can bet this news opened more than a few eyes at other schools around the country, especially those where the coaches in place wear national championship rings and hang Final Four banners.

Oh yeah, it should also be pointed out that it was a nice move by the KU athletic department to announce this news during a weekend when football wasn’t playing. Not only did that give the Self extension its own spotlight, but it also was a classy gesture toward the football program, especially considering we are still in football season.



mustlehustle 1 year, 6 months ago

If there was only that type of commitment to get a good football coach/program....


Bill Skeet 1 year, 6 months ago

Another way to put this into perspective: Bill Self followed Roy, who was on his way to legendary status based on his 15 years of unparalleled success.

When he left, Roy (I think) had the best winning percentage of KU BBall coaches. Ten years later, Bill Self has eclipsed that percentage and been such a great ambassador for the school that I don't know of any KU fan who covets a coach at any other school.

That's an amazing accomplishment. Would we trade Bill Self for anyone?

The other thing that's hard to not think about: What if R Hummel had hit that shot at the end of the Purdue game-- Or if Denmon's shot with the shot clock winding down in OT had fallen-- or if the NC State or Ohio State games hadn't been salvaged in the final minute. Or if Self lost to Williams in the regional final?

Last year was just a bounce of the ball from being what everyone expected: a rebuilding year.

That said, it wasn't. It was a National Runner-up year. And you have to give credit to Bill Self and the team for doing something extraordinary so many times that it almost became expected.


sofiax 1 year, 6 months ago

@Loise, you make $27h...good for you! I make up to $85h working from home. My story is that I quit working at shoprite to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $45h to $85h…heres a good example of what i'm doing, Red97dotc om


jgkojak 1 year, 6 months ago

Let's look at where Bill Self ends up with the other KU Coaches as far as wins-

The stats are Allen 590 William 418 Owens 348 Self 269

If Self coaches ten more years, and averages 28 wins per season (generously low)-- 280 more wins-- which gives him 549

He will then be 2-3 seasons away (more likely 2) from topping Allen - given his competitive nature - I'd be shocked if he didn't extend for the final 2-3 years to do that.

Not sure what you name after Self since the floor is Naismith's and the building is Allen's?


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

One of the best in-game "emotion" photos of Self is the pix above during the UNC game. Now that is a fiery defensive stance from the man who teaches it to all his combo guards!!!! (Another great coach-emotion pix is after our OT win over Mizzout in AFH this year. Let that QuinnSnyderSnub emotion out, coach!)


dylans 1 year, 6 months ago

Just a thought. Does this mean that the administration is rewarding Self for a job well done or is the University that insecure?


clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 6 months ago

is it just me but is that a horrible photo. Looks like coach self is wearing a kentucky jacket with the way the colors are.


justinryman 1 year, 6 months ago

2 AFHs?

Is that the price from when it was originally built? Cause I can't see $53,000,000.00 in todays high construction cost building one let alone 2.


Matt Gauntt 1 year, 6 months ago

Excellent article, Matt.

Given that the Hawks have been winning about 30 games per year, another 10 years would give him close to 800 all time wins just by the time the contract expires, which would be in the top 20 or so all time as a 59 year old man - certainly a lot of coaching left after that.

It's possible he could surpass Phog Allen as the winningest coach in KU history. Phog had 590 KU wins. Self right now has 269 KU wins.


RogersState80 1 year, 6 months ago

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James Kiernan 1 year, 6 months ago

Does anyone else think Rick Pitino is over paid?


ccarp 1 year, 6 months ago

That said, Coach Self is worth every penny!


ccarp 1 year, 6 months ago

Coach Williams never was about the money


Kris Weidling 1 year, 6 months ago

Where does Roy stand with annual comp? He has got to be close to the top 5.


Michael Luby 1 year, 6 months ago

To the best of my knowledge, and google's, Coach Self has gotten COY twice during his time at KU. Thats just awesome.


63Jayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

How does Self's salary compare to NBA coaches?


ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 6 months ago

I just signed my contract with LJW. It pays me $0 a year for life.

I'm worth every penny!!!


Eric Dawson 1 year, 6 months ago

FWIW, the Forbes data is dated. KC Star's story reported the following as current info:

  1. John Calipari, Kentucky $5.388 million
  2. Rick Pitino, Louisville $4.813 million
  3. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke $4.699 million
  4. Bill Self, Kansas $3.856 million
  5. Billy Donovan, Florida $3.640 million


pepper_bar 1 year, 6 months ago

Does Self's new contract contain incentives for recruiting players who don't get in trouble with the law?


mikehawk 1 year, 6 months ago

At the Target in Tulsa today, an Oklahoma State fan with a Cowboys T-shirt saw my KU cap, stopped me and asked if I'd seen Bill Self's new contract numbers. I nodded and said I had, and added (which I have already noted on another article) "you get what you pay for." The old guy justed smiled and nodded, and went on down the aisle. Believe me, Boone Pickens would gladly pay more than that for Bill Self to coach the Pokes.


AsadZ 1 year, 6 months ago

Agree with dannyland.

HCBS: Class act Smooth operator Great ambasador for KU Doing it the right way Best coach in college BB


Daniel Kennamore 1 year, 6 months ago

Absolutely worth every penny.

I knew when he turned down T. Boone's blank check at Okie State he was going to be with us for a long while...but I'm getting the feeling more and more Self may coach here until he retires. Just think about all the conference titles, Final Fours and maybe another National Title or two he's going to bring us over the next 15 years.


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