Kansas announced an amended five-year rolling contract Tuesday that will make Bill Self the highest paid coach in college basketball. Self is set to make approximately $53 million over the next five years according to the amended contract released by KU.
Self will be paid more than $13 million in the contract's first year. Kentucky's John Calipari was paid $8,533,483 in 2022-23 according to USA Today. Self's deal is believed to be the most lucrative deal ever for a basketball coach at a public university.
Among the details on Self's salary from the amended contract:
- At the conclusion of each contract year, another year is added to the deal.
- Self will earn a one-time, $5 million retention bonus if he serves out the first five years of the contract.
- Self's deal also includes a provision in his contract that allows the renegotiation of terms following the 2025-26 season.
Self, 60, has won 773 games, two national championships and 20 conference championships in his Naismith Hall of Fame career spanning 30 seasons. The Jayhawks have won 498 games since the start of the 2006-07 season, which is the most of any team in a major conference. Kansas has been a top-four seed in every NCAA Tournament since the 2000-2001 season.
"I am very appreciative to Chancellor (Douglas) Girod, Travis Goff and the entire KU leadership team for their continued belief and confidence in me and my staff to lead this storied program," Self said in a release. "I know the Chancellor and Travis are as excited as I am about the future of Kansas Basketball. There has never been a better time to be a part of our athletic department and this program. My family and I are so proud to be at this university, and I am looking forward to many more seasons representing the most passionate fan base in the country. There's no place like Kansas."
Kansas, the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 preseason poll, opened up the 2023-24 season with a blowout 99-56 win North Carolina Central. Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the 51st consecutive home-opening win.
In April 2021, Self signed a lifetime contract with Kansas that guaranteed a salary of over $5.41 million per year and a clause that said the school cannot fire him for any current infractions matter that involves conduct "on or prior to the signing of the deal." Just last month, the Independent Resolution Panel (IRP), a judicial board part of the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP), ruled the program would have to vacate 15 of its wins from the 2017-18 season. The vacated wins includes removing any formal acknowledgment of its 2018 Final Four appearance.
Kansas is considered one of the favorites to win the national championship this season and Self is arguably the top active coach in the country. The timing of the contract is interesting because the five-year contract didn't need to be looked at for a few more seasons (I mean, it's a "lifetime" contract!). Nonetheless, Self is now the highest paid coach in the sport for the time being. Because of the way the last few seasons have gone at Kentucky under Calipari, don't expect him to go to his bosses anytime soon for a raise to surpass Self's salary.
How long will a 'lifetime' be for Self?
Self had a health scare right before the Big 12 Tournament last season which forced him to miss the NCAA Tournament entirely. Self currently sits 415 wins behind former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski's 1,202 wins for No. 1 on the NCAA's all-time list and he would need to average about 30 wins the next 14 seasons in order to pass Coach K. Self is 27 wins away from joining the 800 win club and if Kansas lives up to its preseason billing, Self should get it sometime around Big 12 play later this season.
Self officially had 787 wins after last season, but 15 of those were vacated right before the start of the season due to the NCAA infractions. The only active coaches who currently have more wins than Self are Calipari and Tennessee's Rick Barnes. Coach K retired at age 75 years old and Self will definitely have a chance to track him down if the Kansas program wins at a high rate for the next 15 years.