Kansas State Wildcats

Jerome Tang’s Buyout May Be Best Protection for Kansas State

In its first season under Jerome Tang, Kansas State (17-3, 6-2) has climbed all the way to No. 5 nationally and currently has a share of first place in the Big 12.

Now, 20 games into the 2022-23 season, it is comical to find bonuses laced into Tang’s contract if he leads K-State to the NIT or has a greater than .500 conference record.

At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do, and the reasonable thing to do, given the hand that Tang was dealt.


Now, after winning 17 of his first 20 games in Manhattan while playing in the nation’s toughest conference, Tang can start looking toward some of the bigger incentives in his contract like winning a Big 12 Championship ($50,000), reaching the Elite Eight ($100,000), Final Four ($200,000), or winning a national championship ($600,000).

The Wichita Eagle requested a copy of Tang’s contract prior to the season starting but just received their requested document this month. After looking through it, the incentives were an interesting piece, but the buyout seems ever important now with K-State’s outstanding success.

Tang has been listed as a top candidate for several jobs around the country at season’s end, including Texas, but his buyout might keep suitors at bay.


K-State athletic director Gene Taylor started with a high number, and made a good move in doing so, with Tang’s buyout at $5 million through April 30. From there, Tang’s buyout will drop by $1 million per year until 2027. That number will likely keep other teams from sniffing around for a while, and with the way things are going in Manhattan, there will likely be some programs with a lot of interest.

Should things go south and Kansas State decides to fire Tang for any reason other than cause, the school would owe him $7.35 million before April 30, 2024, $5 million in 2025, $2.55 million in 2026, and $1 million in 2027.

Tang’s salary started at $2.1 million in his first season, but is set to climb by $100,000 each year until reaching its max at $2.6 million per year. However, if the Wildcats continue winning the way that they are, there’s likely to be a new contract, and a new number before he even coaches his second season, but this time, there probably won’t be a bonus for a .500 record in conference play.

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