The two-time national champion signed a lifetime deal to lead the Jayhawks. Boardroom breaks down the complete Bill Self contract at Kansas.
The expectations at Kansas for its men’s basketball team are nothing short of insane. As a blueblood program, the Jayhawks and their fans expect to not only compete for championships but to win them. Often.
Bill Self has done everything the program’s rabid fanbase could hope for and more. In 20-plus seasons in Lawrence, Self has led Kansas to two national championships, three Final Fours, eight Big 12 Tournament championships, and 16 Big 12 regular season crowns. His teams have never finished worse than second in their conference and have never won fewer than 21 games in a season (and that was the weird COVID-shortened 2020-21 year).
So, yes, a lifetime contract for Bill Self is worth the investment from Kansas’s perspective. Now that Self is clear of the dark NCAA cloud that hung over the program for years (whether or not there should have been more serious sanctions is entirely beside the point), KU felt it right to give Self a deal that makes him the highest-paid coach in college basketball.
Boardroom read through the contract and has all the details on what Bill Self and Kansas agreed to.
Bill Self Contract and Salary Breakdown at Kansas
Signed: Nov. 3, 2023
Term: This is a lifetime deal on a five-year rolling term, meaning an additional year is added to the deal every March 31.
Bill Self Supplemental Pay by Year:
Like most coaches, Self makes the bulk of his money through supplemental pay. At Kansas, the athletic department breaks it down into two categories: professional services and royalty payments. The professional services portion covers appearances, media obligations, commercials, and more — basically any time Self is in public, representing the university or program. Royalty payments are what Self gets for allowing Kansas to use his name, image, and likeness for commercial purposes. All together, the two payments will net Self the following, each season, in addition to his $500,000 base salary and whatever performance bonuses he might earn:
- 2023-24: $6.7 million
- 2024-25: $6.9 million
- 2025-26: $7.1 million
- 2026-27: $7.5 million
- 2027-28: $7.8 million
- Every season thereafter: $7.8 million
If that wasn’t enough, Self will also earn a $1 million annual retention bonus and a one-time $5 million retention bonus if he is still head coach on March 31, 2028.
And that’s not all.
Kansas gave Self a $1 million signing bonus and owes him money from his previous contract, adjusted to account for the economic hardships of COVID-19. To cover the $7.2 million he’s owed in prior retention bonuses, Kansas will give him $100,000 a month for the next six years. Also, to cover his retention payment for last year, Kansas will pay an additional $118,919.17 per month for the next 12 months.
All together, that means Bill Self will earn $8,418,919.17 this year, before performance bonuses and not including the initial signing bonus. In the fifth season of this deal, he will be able to earn $9.4 million, plus the $5 million added retention bonus.
Unless you live under a rock (with no chalk), you know Kansas is about as sure a thing in men’s college basketball as any. That means Self can also clean up in performance bonuses, as long as the Jayhawks perform according to expectations. In total, Self can earn up to $800,000 per year, provided he hits each of the following benchmarks:
- Big 12 regular season championship: $50,000
- Big 12 Tournament championship: $25,000
- Big 12 Coach of the Year: $50,000
- AP Coach of the Year: $100,000
- NCAA Tournament appearance: $50,000
- Sweet 16 appearance: $100,000
- Final Four: $150,000
- National Championship win: $200,000
- Single year academic progression rate of 970 or higher: $75,000
Bill Self Buyout Details
Though it may seem outlandish, Kansas has the option to fire Self without cause — meaning if they just want to move in a different direction with the program — at any time. And while Self’s buyout is certainly nowhere near the gargantuan total Texas A&M will have to cough up for Jimbo Fisher, KU’s head man would get a nice payday to ride off into the sunset. If he is fired without cause, Kansas will owe him $23,100,000 as he exits, plus any accrued pay to that date.
Of course, if he’s fired for cause (think NCAA violations — shoutout to the IARP), Kansas does not have to give him a penny.
There’s also the unlikely event that Self accepts a job elsewhere. If that’s the case, he would owe Kansas $5 million if it happens before March 2026. That drops to $4 million for the next year and $3 million for any time after that.
In addition to Self’s base pay, fees, and bonuses, Kansas provides him the following benefits:
- Use of 2 courtesy automobiles
- A Wheels Up membership (or a similar service) valued at $20,000 per month
- 10 tickets to all home basketball games and six tickets to all away games
- Use of the Scholarship Suite for Kansas football games
- Membership at two local country clubs
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