Kansas athletic director Travis Goff receives contract extension through 2031

KU athletic director Travis Goff isn’t leaving Lawrence any time soon.

The Star confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Goff and KU have agreed to an extension to keep Goff in Lawrence through 2031. ESPN’s Pete Thamel first reported the news.

The university announced later on Wednesday that Goff’s base salary will increase to $1.3 million this year and continue to increase each year. Goff’s contract runs through May 31, 2031, and his title will be elevated to “Director of Athletics/Vice Chancellor for Athletics.”

“The University of Kansas is responsible for so many of the blessings in my life: an exceptional student experience and degree, my passion for college athletics and the opportunity for my wife Nancy and I to raise our family in this community, among many others,” Goff said via release. “I have the privilege to work with the best coaches and staff in the country and, together, we serve a remarkable university, passionate fan base and, most importantly, 500 of the most inspiring young people in society — Jayhawk student-athletes.”

Goff continued: “I am thankful to Chancellor Girod for his continued trust in our team and I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to continue leading Kansas Athletics through a pivotal time. Rest assured, our best days are ahead.”

Here’s what Goff’s salary will look like after Year 1 (June 1, 2024-May 31, 2025), which includes $200,000 in retention bonuses on top of his $1.3 million salary.

  • June 1, 2025-May 31, 2026 — $1.34 million + $125,000 retention bonus*

  • June 1, 2026-May 31, 2027 — $1.38 million + $125,000 retention bonus*

  • June 1, 2027-May 31, 2028 — $1.42 million + $250,000 retention bonus*

  • June 1, 2028-May 31, 2029 — $1.47 million + $150,000 retention bonus*

  • June 1, 2029-May 31, 2030 — $1.52 million + $150,000 retention bonus*

  • June 1, 2030-May 31, 2031 — $1.57 million + $250,000 retention bonus*

*All retention bonuses will be paid out on June 1, the start of the term year.

If Goff leaves Kansas on or before May 31, 2026, he will owe the university a $5 million buyout. That drops to $4 million on June 1, 2026, $3 million on June 1, 2027, $2.5 million on June 1, 2028, and $2 million on June 1, 2029. Starting June 1, 2030, his buyout is the remainder of his base salary owed.

If Kansas terminates Goff’s contract without cause, it would owe him the exact same amount as Goff’s buyout at that point.

Goff became Kansas’ new AD back in 2021. The Dodge City native graduated from Kansas back in 2002.

Goff’s initial contract with Kansas was set to end on June 30, 2026, with a compensation of $700,000 per year. The new contract is a significant raise for Goff — who was the lowest-paid athletic director in the Big 12 Conference at the time he signed his first contract.

In Goff’s short tenure, he’s done quite a bit for the Jayhawks.

He oversaw the hiring of KU football coach Lance Leipold — who took KU to back-to-back bowl games for the first time since 2007-08. He also has ensured Leipold remained with the Jayhawks with multiple contract extensions.

Goff has hired new coaches in several others sports: baseball (Dan Fitzgerald), soccer (Nate Lie) and golf (Lindsay Kuhle). Fitzgerald recently led the Jayhawks to a 31-23 season, KU’s best finish in a decade.

Under Goff, KU basketball coach Bill Self signed an amended “lifetime” contract at the start of the 2023-24 season, and Goff’s tenure includes KU men’s basketball winning the national championship in 2022.

Additionally, Goff has been a big proponent of the renovations to David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium and KU’s Gateway District, as well as ongoing renovations to historic Allen Fieldhouse.

“Travis has proven to be among the most respected athletic directors in the country and (a) terrific fit for KU at this moment in our history,” said KU chancellor Douglas Girod. “He has established a culture of excellence and integrity within Kansas Athletics — and done so while navigating unprecedented changes to the collegiate athletics landscape and positioning KU for long-term success. We are thrilled he’s a Jayhawk, and we look forward to his leadership for years to come.”