Purdue, Painter agree to eight-year deal
Matt Painter has a new, eight-year contract from Purdue that will pay him at least $2.3 million per year and assurances that the school will take other steps to keep the Boilermakers competitive.
Beyond that, Painter would just like to get back to basketball.
Painter met with reporters on Thursday, a day after the contract announcement ended speculation that he would be taking the open coaching job at Missouri.
Painter met with Missouri athletic director Mike Alden on Tuesday morning in Orlando, Fla.. He wouldn’t say whether he was officially offered the chance to replace Mike Anderson, who left for Arkansas last week after Missouri had hoped to keep him.
”When you talk professionally with other people, it stays private,” Painter said. ”You have to assess where you are, where you’re going, but through discussions of that nature, you’re listening. Talk is cheap and it comes down to action. I’m happy to be a Boilermaker.”
Several players, including forward Robbie Hummel, reached out to Painter after it became clear the coach was being courted by the Big 12’s Tigers.
”We were hearing all sorts of stuff,” Hummel said. ”I was concerned, but I was confused, too, because I didn’t know what to believe.”
Last year, Purdue gave Painter a new contract through the 2016-17 season that included a $1.3 million base salary and up to $1 million in incentives. With Missouri knocking on the door, the Boilermakers had to pony up even more.
The new deal will keep Painter at his alma mater through the 2018-19 season. Besides the base salary, he can also earn incentives based on his team’s academic and athletic performance.
Athletic director Morgan Burke has also assured Painter that the school will provide resources to compete for Big Ten and national titles.
Purdue is making major renovations to Mackey Arena, something that is expected to boost the Boilermakers’ image and help bring in top recruits. Burke said other ”resources” have been promised to Painter, although he didn’t go into specifics.
”Where we have gaps we need to fix them,” Burke said. ”You can’t have aspirations to be champions unless you’re willing to do the things necessary. We have the resources backed up behind those commitments to ensure we can put them in place.”
Painter said now it’s time to focus on basketball. The Boilermakers made the third round of this year’s NCAA tournament but were knocked out by Final Four participant Virginia Commonwealth.
”As a basketball player and basketball coach, you’re only as good as your last game. We weren’t very good in our last game,” he said. ”That’s something to drive us through the spring, summer and fall. I’d rather work than talk about it.”
The 40-year-old Painter, a Muncie native and Purdue alumnus, has been selected the Big Ten’s coach of the year three times and he led the Boilermakers to Sweet 16 appearances in 2009 and 2010. Purdue has qualified for the NCAA tournament the past five years.
”He’s become the face of the basketball program,” Hummel said. ”That would have been a huge blow to lose him. We had to keep him if we wanted to continue the upward trend. I’d like him to stay as long as he can.”
Painter is excited to lead the Boilermakers for another eight years.
”I’m very grateful to be in this position,” he said. ”Purdue’s not lucky to have me; I’m lucky to be at Purdue. It’s a great opportunity for us to move forward, get better and keep improving.”