Almost six months after Gregg Marshall led Wichita State on an unlikely Final Four run, the school rewarded him with a hefty raise.
Marshall's base salary will rise from $1.03 million to $1.6 million in November and to $1.75 million in April under terms of the new contract announced Monday. He also now has a salary pool of $501,000 to pay his three assistants and director of basketball operations, making it easier for him to attract and retain top candidates.
"I want to thank our administration for the tremendous commitment they have shown to our entire basketball program," Marshall said in a statement. “From our enhanced amenities in Koch Arena and our renovated locker room to improved compensation to all our coaches, Wichita State University has shown great appreciation for what we do. Obviously I feel this is a Big Time basketball program and I feel truly blessed to be your basketball coach."
The financial commitment from Wichita State reflects how determined school officials are to keep Marshall as their coach and to build on the momentum from last year's Final Four. The $1.6 million that Marshall will make next season would rank among the top 25 in all of college basketball based on USA Today's database of coaching salaries, just ahead of fellow non-power conference programs Gonzaga and VCU.
Even before his pay raise, Marshall has made it clear he won't leave Wichita State for just any run-of-the-mill power-conference job. He rebuffed several suitors during the historic Final Four run last spring and passed on interest from Nebraska in 2012 and NC State in 2011.
Seated in a folding chair outside his team's locker room after its Sweet 16 win over La Salle last March, Marshall explained at length to a handful of reporters why he's so content in Wichita.
He noted he has a seven-figure salary, a house on a golf course, a supportive fan base and administration and a program formidable enough to contend for league titles and NCAA bids every year. He did not rule out someday leaving Wichita State if an elite program in a high-profile league showed interest, but he insisted he's not eager to mess with happy.
"I'm not in search of anything," Marshall said. "I've got a great life, great family, great community I live in, great school, great administration, great players. What more do I need? More money? That's the only thing. We can obviously make runs in the NCAA tournament from Wichita State.
"This could be a destination job for me. Now it may not be, but I'm just saying I'm not in a big hurry and I never have been."
Now, with 60 percent pay raise to celebrate, he's probably in even less of a hurry.