Butler University, coming off the most successful men’s basketball season in school history, has rewarded head coach
Brad Stevens with a new contract.
The 12-year deal signed by Stevens extends the 33-year-old coach's contract through the 2021-22 season.
Financial terms of the deal, announced Thursday afternoon, were not disclosed.
“What a contract extension really means is a big raise,” said David Morton, a Butler graduate and president of local sports marketing firm Sunrise Sports Group.
Morton added that an extension usually means there is a bigger buy-out clause for schools looking to hire Stevens away in the future.
“We are extremely pleased and excited to announce that we’ve reached a new long-term agreement with Brad, and that he will continue to lead the Butler University men’s basketball program,” said Butler Director of Athletics Barry Collier in a prepared statement. “Brad has demonstrated that he’s the right fit for Butler University, and that he embraces and teaches The Butler Way. Our program has grown under his leadership, and we’re excited about our future under his direction.”
The Bulldogs' amazing run to the NCAA championship game, which it lost 61-59 to Duke University, made Stevens a hot commodity.
Stevens had been contacted by the University of Oregon, sports business sources said, but he turned down that interview request.
Stevens has also been mentioned in conjunction with several other college coaches openings, but Thursday’s announcement
would put the stories of Stevens’ departure on ice—at least for next season.
Stevens' base pay this season was just more than $395,000, according to Butler officials. That’s up from $350,000 last year. Sports business experts projected it would take annual pay of more than $1 million per season to retain Stevens long term.
This year, Stevens was named Horizon League Coach of the Year for the second straight year. He’s won more games (89) in three seasons than any other coach in NCAA Division I history. He’s the only coach in the history of the Horizon League to reach 30 wins in a season. Only four coaches in NCAA history own a better winning percentage after three seasons than Stevens’ 89-15 (.856) mark.