MANHATTAN — After months of negotiations during Kansas State's best regular season in decades, Frank Martin and the university signed a new contract Sunday that will run through the 2014-15 season and pay the Wildcats' basketball coach an average salary of $1.55 million, including retention bonuses.
The raise more than doubles Martin's salary of $760,000, which ranked near the bottom of all Big 12 Conference coaches. The new contract will tie him with Missouri coach Mike Anderson for fourth.
Only Kansas' Bill Self, Texas' Rick Barnes and Oklahoma State's Travis Ford make more.
The new deal is a dream-fulfilling achievement for Martin, and he struggled for words while attempting to explain its significance.
In front of a room full of media and supporters, a man who is best known for his toughness and unforgiving coaching methods was brought to tears.
"This community is very dear to me and my family," Martin said, his voice cracking. "This university is very dear to me and my family. In a business where longevity isn't seen very often, where loyalty sometimes goes away in a hurry, for us to know this is going to be our home for a while makes it an extremely comforting moment for us."
He said the same thing to his players earlier in the afternoon and said he was even more emotional the first time around.
Junior guard Jacob Pullen said Martin teared up so quickly that he thought Martin was about to tell his players he was leaving.
"I had never seen him cry before," Pullen said. "When he told us he had the contract extension, it was an emotional meeting for all of us. We had tears, too. It was emotional. Frank believes in us. We believe in him."
So does K-State athletic director John Currie.
"There is no one I would rather have as our men's basketball coach," Currie said.
Despite ongoing contract discussions, Martin has repeatedly said he would prefer to wait until the end of the season to finalize a new contract. He got his wish one day after the Wildcats concluded a regular season in which they went 24-6, claimed the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Tournament and earned a top-five national ranking.
Martin, 67-30 in three seasons, said Currie and his agent, Richard Katz, spent the past 48 hours working on the contract, and he got involved following Saturday's loss to Iowa State.
Martin signed the contract on the same day he was named Big 12 Coach of the Year by the Associated Press and by his conference coaching colleagues.
On top of the average salary of $1.55 million, Martin will receive a $462,800 signing bonus and could receive significant performance-based incentives beginning next season if he continues winning. The incentives could reward Martin up to an additional 32 percent of his base salary for each contract year.
Those include salary percentage bonuses that include obtaining a top three seed in the Big 12 Tournament, making the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Final Four and winning a national title.
A national title would give him a 32-percent bonus. Finishing the season with a top-10 ranking would pay him a 28-percent bonus.
Other bonuses range from achieving a specific academic progress rate score ($50,000), a team graduation rate above the rate of the entire student body ($50,000), being selected Big 12 Coach of the Year ($25,000) and winning national coach of the year honors ($50,000).
Upon the successful completion of his initial contract, which ends in April 2012, Martin will receive a lump sum of $250,000. At the completion of the 2014-15 season, he is receive a $500,000 bonus.
If Martin is terminated without cause before then, K-State will owe him $4 million or the total of the remainder of his base salary, whichever is less. If Martin chooses to leave before the end of his contract, he would owe K-State a sum depending on his departure. If he leaves following this season, he will owe $2 million. That buyout decreases to $1 million through April 15, 2012, $750,000 through May 14, 2013 and $500,000 through May 14, 2014.
His previous contract had a buyout of $100,000.
Contract adjustments are also in the works for each of Martin's assistant coaches, including Dalonte Hill, who currently earns $420,000 per year. Currie said he would meet with Martin following the NCAA Tournament and discuss those changes.
For now, he's glad he made Martin happy.
"With this contract in place," Currie said. "Coach Martin has made a long-term commitment to K-State and K-State has made a long-term commitment to him. We are confident that under his leadership K-State basketball will continue to elevate its national presence."