After leading the Kansas State basketball team to a 25-win season and an Elite Eight appearance, the Wildcats rewarded coach Bruce Weber with a contract extension on Friday that will increase his salary and add two years onto his employment agreement.
Weber will earn $2.5 million in base salary next season, a raise of $250,000, and his new base salary will increase by $100,000 each year until his contract expires after the 2022-23 season, when he will be set to earn $2.9 million.
The new contract also comes with higher buyout figures. If K-State decides to fire Weber without cause before May 1, 2019, the school will owe him $2.5 million. That number will increase to $2.6 million the following year and then drop to $2 million in 2021 and $1 million in 2022. If he is fired without cause after April 30, 2022, K-State will owe him $500,000.
Weber will continue to receive the same fringe benefits and perks of his old contract, which ran through 2021, including a performance-based bonus system that could pay him an additional 32 percent of his yearly salary based on how the Wildcats play. Last season, he received a 20 percent bonus for reaching the Elite Eight.
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K-State athletic director Gene Taylor and Weber have been working on a new contract since the end of the season. They finalized terms this week, and it was unanimously approved by the school's athletic board on Friday.
“We are very fortunate to have not only such an outstanding basketball coach but also a man in Coach Weber who conducts his program with integrity and class and is widely respected across the nation,” Taylor said in a statement. “Certainly last season was one of the most memorable postseason runs in our program’s history, and we are excited for next season and the years ahead under Coach Weber’s leadership.”
Weber has not always been a popular basketball coach with all K-State fans, but he won over a number of doubters last season and appears to have his best team returning.
The Wildcats welcome back their entire starting lineup after Barry Brown announced he will return for his senior year, and the bulk of their rotation. Experts project them to start next season ranked and challenge for a Big 12 championship.
“I have said many times that the support that our players and coaches receive is some of the best in the country and I couldn’t be more appreciative of this commitment from President (Richard) Myers and Gene (Taylor),” Weber said in a statement. “We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish these last six years, including last season’s special run, and this vote of confidence gives the staff and I everything we need to continue to build this program in the right way. We can’t wait to get back in the gym and start working with the players again.”
This is the fourth time K-State has extended Weber's contract since he took over for Frank Martin in 2012. Taylor most recently gave Weber a two-year extension last summer.
Weber has guided K-State to a 125-80 overall record and four NCAA Tournament appearances. He ranks fourth among all K-State coaches in total wins behind Jack Hartman, Tex Winter and Jack Gardner. Weber was thought to be in the hot seat when the Wildcats missed the postseason in 2015 and 2016, but that changed after they bounced back and made the NCAAs in each of the past two seasons.
His K-State highlights include a shared Big 12 regular-season championship in 2013, last season's Elite Eight run and four 20-win seasons.