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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Bill Self’s Big Kansas Contract Pays Off With NCAA Title

  • The Jayhawks staged the biggest halftime comeback in NCAA championship game history.
  • The 49-year-old coach has a lifetime contract and will be paid $10.2 million this season.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

A year ago, Kansas handed Bill Self a lifetime contract that has made him the highest-paid coach in college basketball.

On Monday, he justified the deal by orchestrating the biggest halftime comeback in NCAA championship game history. The Jayhawks roared back from a 15-point deficit to defeat North Carolina 72-69 for the program’s fourth national title.

The 59-year-old’s second-half adjustments — a stifling defensive scheme that opened up the offense for a 31-10 run — gave ample proof why Kansas will pay him $10.2 million this season alone.  

  • The five-year agreement automatically adds an extra year after each season.
  • Self is guaranteed $5.41M per season with a base salary of $225,000, $2.8M in professional services, and an annual retention bonus of $2.44M. 
  • He vested $4.5M of deferred retention pay.

The Jayhawks’ long-term commitment to Self hasn’t resulted in too many trophies, however. His 13-season gap between his first title (2008) and Monday’s triumph is the second-longest drought for a head coach (Rick Pitino, 1996-2013).

Meanwhile, Self and Kansas might encounter a legal obstacle to any ambitions for back-to-back titles: The program is facing possible punishment from the NCAA for recruiting infractions.

But Kansas is still tied with Gonzaga and Kentucky with the third-best odds (+1200) to win it all in 2023 behind Duke (+750) and North Carolina (+1000).

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