MANHATTAN, Kan. – After leading the school to a historic victory over Kentucky and its first NCAA Elite Eight in eight seasons, head coach Bruce Weber has agreed to a two-year contract extension through the 2022-23 season, continuing his leadership of the Kansas State men’s basketball program, Director of Athletics Gene Taylor announced on Friday (May 25).
The extension comes less than a year after Weber agreed to a two-year contract in August 2017. Weber now has five years on his agreement that runs until April 30, 2023. The seventh-year head coach will be paid $2.5 million in 2018-19 and receive a $100,000 increase to his salary in each remaining contract year culminating in a $2.9 million base for the 2022-23 season.
The extension was unanimously approved by the K-State Athletics, Inc., Board of Directors.
“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,” said Taylor. “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.”
Hired on March 31, 2012 as the 24th head coach in school history, Weber has guided K-State to a 125-80 (.610) overall record and four NCAA Tournament appearances in six seasons, including the school’s sixth 25-win season in 2017-18 that culminated in a thrilling run to the Elite Eight. His 125 wins are the fourth-most by a head coach in school history and the most since Jack Hartman retired as the school’s all-time winningest coach in 1986. He is the fifth head coach to take K-State to at least four NCAA Tournaments (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018) in a tenure, while his four 20-win seasons are only surpassed by three other head coaches in school history.
“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),” said Weber. “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.”
Weber is coming off perhaps the best coaching performance of his career, guiding a K-State team picked to finish eighth in the Coaches’ preseason Big 12 poll to a second 25-win season in his tenure and its first trip to the Elite Eight since 2009-10. He is the first Wildcat head coach to lead the program to multiple 25-win seasons.
During the Wildcats’ run in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, Weber became just the 10th Division I head coach to take three different schools (Southern Illinois, Illinois and K-State) to the Sweet 16.
Led by All-Big 12 selections Barry Brown, Jr., and Dean Wade, the Wildcats posted a 25-12 overall record and a fourth-place finish in the Big 12 with a 10-8 mark in 2017-18, which included nine victories over postseason team and season sweeps of conference foes Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Texas. The 10 Big 12 victories were the most since also winning 10 in 2013-14, while the fourth-place finish was the best since winning the league title in 2012-13. The team finished 19th in the final USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll, which was the program’s highest such final ranking since concluding the 2009-10 season at No. 7.
Weber’s ability to rally his team through adversity was put on further display during K-State’s memorable run to the Elite Eight, as the Wildcats were forced to play the entire NCAA Tournament without their leading scorer and rebounder Wade, who became just the fourth player in school history to be named to the All-Big 12 First Team. Highlighted by special performances from Brown, sophomore Xavier Sneed and freshman Mike McGuirl, the squad knocked off No. 8 seed Creighton, Cinderella and No. 16 seed UMBC and No. 5 seed Kentucky before falling to 11-seeded Loyola Chicago in South Regional Final. It marked the 12th Elite Eight in school history, including just the second in the last 25 seasons.
For the second time in his tenure, Weber helped coach a pair of Wildcat players to All-Big 12 honors in 2018, as Wade and Brown became just the sixth tandem in school history to earn recognition to the Coaches’ 15-member All-Big 12 First, Second or Third Teams. Wade joined Michael Beasley (2008), Jacob Pullen (2010, 2011) and Rodney McGruder (2013) as the only First Team selections in the Big 12 era with only Beasley and Pullen doing it as undergraduates. Named to the league’s Second Team, Brown became the fifth Wildcat to earn recognition to one of the Big 12’s top three all-conference teams as well as the All-Defensive Team in the same season.
The run to the Elite Eight in 2018 was the second straight NCAA Tournament for Weber’s Wildcats, which tallied a 21-14 overall record to go with an 8-10 mark in Big 12 play in 2016-17. He led K-State to earn its first postseason victory in five seasons with a 95-88 win over Wake Forest in the First Four in Dayton, which also happened to be the 100th win of his tenure. Senior Wesley Iwundu repeated his selection to the Coaches’ All-Big 12 Third Team and capped off his impressive senior campaign by becoming the 50th Wildcat selected in the NBA Draft and the first since 2008 when he was taken with the 33rd overall pick in the second round by the Orlando Magic.
Weber, 61, has compiled a 438-235 (.651) record in his 20 seasons as a head coach, which includes stints at Southern Illinois (1998-2003) and Illinois (2003-11). His .651 winning percentage ranks 37th among active Division I head coaches, while he is the 41st coach (21st active coach) in NCAA history to take three different schools to the NCAA Tournament. Weber’s teams have participated in postseason play in 14 of his 20 seasons, including 12 NCAA Tournament appearances. He has averaged 21.9 victories a season in his head coaching career.
Weber has tutored 11 players named to All-Big 12 teams the past six seasons, including first team selections McGruder and Wade, second team picks Angel Rodriguez (2013), Marcus Foster (2014) and Brown and third team honoree Iwundu (2016, 2017). In addition, he has helped mentor three Big 12 All-Defensive Team members in Rodriguez (2013), Iwundu (2016) and Brown (2018) as well as three players selected to the league’s All-Newcomer Team, including Brown and Wade, who became the first Wildcat duo to be honored on all-rookie squad in 2015-16.
The Wildcats have also excelled off the court under Weber’s guidance, as all 19 student-athletes to finish their eligibility have earned their degrees since he became head coach in 2012. He has coached 16 Academic All-Big 12 recipients, including a school-record five in 2016-17, while student-athletes have made a combined 91 appearances on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll in his tenure.