Jayhawks sign Self through ’22
Bill Self could be roaming the sideline at Allen Fieldhouse well into the next decade.
The Kansas basketball coach agreed to a restructured contract Friday that extends through the 2021-22 season and includes a raise to $3.857 million per year. Self’s previous deal, worth $3.376 million annually, would have run through June 2018.
Self is coming off his second appearance with Kansas in the Final Four. He led the Jayhawks to the 2008 national title and lost to Kentucky in the championship game in April.
”I know there are a lot of great jobs out there, but I certainly don’t think it takes long to call roll for the best of the best, and I’m fortunate to have one of those,” Self said. ”I can’t imagine myself coaching anywhere else as long as the people at Kansas want me to be here.”
Self’s new contract includes bonus provisions of $50,000 for conference regular-season titles, $25,000 for winning the conference tournament, $100,000 for earning AP coach of the year, $150,000 for reaching the Final Four and $200,000 for winning the national championship.
”I felt great about my previous contract that we redid in ’08, and of course, extending it four more years is terrific,” Self said. ”I don’t know if it’s anything I’m going to be giddy about or lay awake thinking, `Hey, I have a contract through 2022.’ Hopefully if you’re doing a good job, they’ll want you around, and if you don’t do a good job, they won’t want you around.”
The restructured contract includes a retention bonus of $876,000 per year, payable in 2015 and 2018. The bonus is replaced in 2019 by an agreement to pay Self a one-time sum of $6 million if he remains the Kansas coach through March 2022.
”We believe Bill Self is among a very small number of elite basketball coaches in this country, and this ensures that we compensate him accordingly,” Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger said. ”We are thrilled that he will remain our coach for at least another decade.”
The Jayhawks have won a record eight consecutive Big 12 regular-season titles under Self, and averaged 29.9 wins per year. They have not been seeded lower than fourth in nine NCAA tournaments, and have made six trips to the Sweet 16 and five appearances in the Elite Eight.
”Bill Self not only wins, but he wins the right way,” Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said. ”He emphasizes the importance of players being both students and athletes, and is himself an active contributor to the university and community. Bill is an outstanding coach and ambassador.”
Despite losing All-American forward Thomas Robinson to the NBA Draft, and senior guard Tyshawn Taylor and several other key pieces from last year’s national runners-up, Kansas is still expected to be ranked in the top 10 when preseason polls are released.
The Jayhawks return shot-blocking center Jeff Withey, senior guards Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson, and role players Kevin Young and Naadir Tharpe. They’ll be helped by one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, headlined by Kansas high school standout Perry Ellis.
Also eligible this season will be Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor, a pair of highly regarded recruits who were forced to redshirt last season because of issues with their academics.
”The key to our team,” Self said, ”will be how quickly our young guys come around. We have a bunch of them. How aggressive they are, and if they understand the type of aggressiveness and attitude you have to win at this level, at a high level.”
Self also dealt with some staff turnover in the offseason.
Assistant coach Danny Manning left to take over the program at Tulsa, where Self once served as coach, and director of basketball operations Barry Hinson was hired to coach Southern Illinois.
Former St. John’s coach Norm Roberts has returned to Self’s staff as an assistant coach after serving in the same capacity last season at Florida. Former Nebraska coach Doc Sadler has replaced Hinson as the director of basketball operations.
”I think one of the great things about coaching is turnover. It’s exciting when you have turnover amongst your staff, even if you don’t want to lose guys,” Self said. ”When guys get opportunities, it’s because the players have done a good job and performed well.”