Bill Self, Kansas Agree to Lifetime Contract: 'No Other Place I'd Rather Be'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2021

Kansas head coach Bill Self watches from the bench during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

The University of Kansas and head men's basketball coach Bill Self agreed to a lifetime contract Friday.

According to the announcement on KUAthletics.com, the contract replaces Self's current deal, which was set to expire next year. The new contract is a five-year rolling agreement that will add one year on at the end of each season for the rest of Self's career.

With regard to the new contract, the 58-year-old said:

"I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Chancellor Girod, [interim athletic director] Kurt Watson, and the rest of the leadership at KU for their belief and faith in me to provide this lifetime contract. Every day, I am reminded just how fortunate I am to lead this storied program and there truly is no place else I would rather be.

"As we continue to work through the challenges facing our program, we look forward to moving ahead and focusing on our bright future. I would also like to express my gratitude to our alumni and donors, as well as the best fans and students in the nation, that have supported my family and me for the past 18 seasons. I'm excited to remain your basketball coach and compete for many championships in the future."

Self, who is 522-118 in 18 seasons at Kansas, led the Jayhawks to a 21-9 record this season and a spot in the second round of the NCAA tournament, where they fell to USC.

During his 18 years at Kansas, Self has led the Jayhawks to the NCAA tournament 17 times with the only exception being the 2019-20 season when there was no tourney held because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Oklahoma native has guided Kansas to 15 regular-season Big 12 titles and eight Big 12 tournament titles, netting him six Big 12 Coach of the Year awards.

He has also taken KU to the Final Four on three occasions and led it to a national championship in 2008 when it defeated Memphis.

Watson commented on the contract that will keep Self at Kansas for the rest of his coaching career:

"Bill Self has meant a tremendous amount to the University of Kansas and our entire Lawrence community throughout his 18 seasons. He has changed the lives of so many young men that have played for him throughout his nearly 30 years as a head coach.

"I have known Bill for many years, but working closely with him over the past few weeks in my current role has shown me even more so on a daily basis how deeply he cares about this program. We are certainly proud that he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at KU in 1985 and that this new contract will ensure he finishes his coaching career here as well."

The two-time Associated Press College Coach of the Year is set to enter his 29th season as a collegiate head coach overall in 2021-22, as he previously spent time at Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois.

All told, Self has taken his team to the NCAA tournament 22 times during his career, which speaks to the fact that they are always in the mix and competing for a national title.

This past season was something of a disappointment since Baylor established itself as the dominant force in the Big 12, but Kansas finished as the regular-season runner-up and was still a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament.

One potential area of concern, however, is that Self was charged with head coach responsibility violations and the University of Kansas was charged with lack of institutional control by the NCAA in 2019 after allegations that the coaching staff was working with Adidas to funnel recruits to Kansas.

Kansas has denied that the coaching staff had knowledge of Adidas' dealings, and it remains unclear what punishments the program may face, if any.