LOS ANGELES -- How much did Mario's Miracle make Bill Self?
The answer is an extra $1.39 million per year, plus seven additional years of contract security.
"It turned out pretty well," Self said Wednesday, and I think I agree. The 45 year-old went from a man with a thee-year, $1.61 million contract (and a man who some Kansas fans believed would never get past the Elite Eight) to a man with a 10-year, $30 million contract that puts him not too far behind the nation's highest-paid coach, Florida's Billy Donovan, who makes $3.5 million per season.
Meantime, I think I've found the secret to ridiculous wealth:
Step 1: Recruit like crazy.
Step 2: Win a national title.
Step 3: Entertain interest from a rival school with an opening.
Step 4: Reject the rival school, proclaim your love for your current job and, yeah, keep recruiting like crazy.
Step 5: Count your Benjamins!
Seriously, the rises of Donovan and Self are pretty similar.
Both were (unfairly, I think) labeled "great recruiters/questionable coaches" up until the point they were literally cutting down national title nets. Donovan lost in the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament five straight years before winning the 2005-06 championship and Self had fallen in the first round in two of the three previous seasons before winning the 2007-08 title.
Some weren't happy with those results, and they voiced their opinions on radio shows and message boards.
But suddenly it all clicked and the reputations of Donovan and Self changed drastically.
Then their savings accounts changed drastically, too.