The only thing Butler’s worried about Monday is beating Connecticut. But once the game’s over, athletic director Barry Collier will have a similar singular focus: Ensuring coach Brad Stevens stays put.
Stevens, 34, signed a 12-year contract extension last spring after Butler reached the title game. But after another championship game appearance – something only Billy Donovan’s done since 1998 – expect Stevens to be in demand by every school in the country. And maybe even some that don’t have an opening.
Collier knows this. Doesn’t mean he’ll let Stevens go if lured.
“Well if it was possible to lock him up for his career I would do that,” Collier told Dan Dakich on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis (via Sportsradiointerviews.com). “I want you to know he has a lifetime contract right now, but that’s my lifetime and not his. (Laughing) That’s a short one.”
Butler’s doing its part to make the school a more attractive spot for recruits, investing in new facilities and starting a $25 million upgrade on Hinkle Fieldhouse. But perhaps the most promising thing for Collier is that Stevens, an Indianapolis native, is perfectly happy (and well-compensated) at Butler.
“You hear people say all the time, ‘The grass is greener somewhere else,'” Stevens said. “Well, I think the grass is very green at Butler. Certainly there can be green grass at other places. You understand that. You see people go through it. You see sometimes it works out for people and sometimes it doesn’t. But like I’ve said many times, we’re happy.”
He’s in the title game for the second straight year, in a city he and his wife both love. Who wouldn’t be happy?
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