As reported earlier in the day, Kansas and head coach Bill Self agreed to a contract extension through the 2021-2012 season.
He’s definitely moving into Kansas elite by going from rich to richer, as the deal bumps up his salary almost half-a-mill to $3.856 million.
More importantly, Self is entering his 10th season at KU and this new deal could keep him in Lawrence for the next decade. In nine seasons, Self has won a national title, made a pair of appearances at the Final Four and been to five Elite Eights. Coaching Kansas for the foreseeable future, Self will likely end his tenure with the Jayhawks with a resume worthy enough for the arena to be named after him…if it wasn’t already taken by the legendary coach, Phog Allen.
Well, maybe he can settle for having the court named after him? Oh wait, that’s named after the game’s inventor, James Naismith.
Honoring Self at the end of his career is a “let’s cross that bridge, when we get there” sort of situation. Either way, this contract extension gives the current Jayhawks head coach the ability to establish an impressive legacy at KU.
Compare Self’s career with some of KU’s other coaching greats.
He has as many Final Fours as Larry Brown and Ted Owens, only one less than Phog Allen, and two less than Roy Williams (however Williams didn’t win a title with Kansas).
Self currently holds the highest winning percentage in the storied history of Kansas basketball at .835, averaging just under 30 wins per season. The next closest is Williams at .805.
A dozen of Self’s former KU players have been drafted into the NBA, most recently Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor.
A knock on Self’s time in Lawrence would be a few early exits in the NCAA Tournament, most notably the second round loss to Northern Iowa in 2010.
However, that could be negated with Self’s performance last season. Self had a talented, yet inexperienced group of players and took them to within a win of the national title. Only four players entered the season with regular playtime from the previous year.
If Self stays for the duration of the new deal, he will go down as the second-longest tenured coach in the program’s history (tied with Owens) behind Allen, and maybe just as successful.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne