University of Kansas

KU A.D. Sheahon Zenger explains reasons for David Beaty’s raise, contract extension

Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger isn’t worried about the record.

He understands some outsiders might scoff following Monday’s announcement that football coach David Beaty was given a two-year extension and a raise following a 2-22 mark over the last two seasons.

“I think those folks would certainly be on the far outside,” Zenger told The Star on Monday. “Those close to the program knew that when (David) came in, he was handed a very short stick with the roster.”

So, for Zenger, it was only fair to evaluate Beaty after getting through that 0-12 season in 2015. The athletic director said he saw improvement in 2016, especially toward the end of the year.

He also believed Beaty was the right man moving forward based on conversations with recruits, high school coaches, staff members, donors and fans.

“This is a commitment to the overall football program,” Zenger said, “that we believe he and the staff and the players are headed in the right direction.”

Beaty, who is now is under contract through the 2021 season, will receive $1.6 million in 2017 and $100,000 raises each subsequent year. That’s a significant bump, as he just completed the second season of a five-year deal that was set to pay him an $800,000 base each year.

Zenger, who did not say whether he had knowledge of Beaty being considered for jobs elsewhere, admitted he knew that the original contract was “something we would need to adjust once the program showed its momentum.” A report from USA Today’s Dan Wolken mentioned that new Texas coach Tom Herman had “at least preliminary interest” in Beaty as the team’s offensive coordinator.

Beaty’s new contract also includes added incentives for achievements such as conference championships, bowl wins and coach-of-the-year awards. Notably, Beaty will receive $50,000 for every FBS win and $100,000 for any BCS or Power Five victory.

“I am appreciative of Dr. Zenger and our administration’s show of support,” Beaty said. “He and his staff have gone above and beyond to give us everything we need to build our program.”

Beaty certainly helped his case for an extension on Nov. 19 when the Jayhawks upset Texas, 24-21 to break a 19-game Big 12 losing streak.

Zenger said he still had reasons to be optimistic about the program when KU was 1-9, with its only win coming against FCS school Rhode Island.

“I already had seen the progress with regard to the effort of the players, the skill of the players we were recruiting, the camaraderie among staff and team. Those signs were all there,” Zenger said. “Of course, the Texas win was a nice exclamation point to those factors.”

Zenger said he began discussing an extension with Beaty once the Jayhawks completed their season Nov. 26, saying it was a “pleasure” to work alongside him each day because of the way he treated people.

“More than anything, (the extension) is a reaffirmation of the type of individual that he is and the respect he has for the University of Kansas,” Zenger said. “It was affirming more than anything that this is who we are and who we want to be going forward.

“And we’re looking forward to what he and his staff and his players can accomplish.”

Jesse Newell: 816-234-4759, @jessenewell

Changes in Beaty’s contract

Salary (Total guaranteed)

Old: $800,000 per year (along with an extra $100,000 following every bowl-eligible season)

New: $1.6 million in 2017, while increasing by $100,000 each year

Incentive Payments


Big 12 win: $25,000

Big 12 regular season championship (not tie): $100,000

Coaching KU in bowl game: $100,000

Coaching KU in CFP bowl game: $250,000

Coaching KU and winning CFP bowl game: $500,000

AP National Coach of the Year: $50,000

Big 12 Coach of the Year: $50,000


FBS win: $50,000

BCS/Power 5 win: $100,000

Big 12 regular season championship (not tie): $100,000

Coaching KU in bowl game (not CFP): $200,000

Bowl game win (not CFP): $100,000

CFP bowl game: $250,000

CFP bowl game win: $500,000

AP National Coach of the Year: $50,000

Big 12 Coach of the Year: $50,000

Contract Length

Old: Five years, though 2019

New: Two-year extension, through 2021

KU buyout, firing Beaty without cause

Old: 24 months’ salary or remainder of contract, whichever is less, offset by Beaty’s new salary if employed elsewhere

New: $3 million

Beaty buyout to KU if he leaves early

Old: Two years’ salary

New: $3 million if he leaves KU in 2017-18; $2 million if he leaves in 2019-20; $1 million if he leaves in 2021