Celtics coach Brad Stevens turned down 7-year, $70 million offer to coach Indiana University, per report

Late last month, Indiana University hired Mike Woodson to be the new coach of its men’s basketball team, officially ending the speculation surrounding Brad Stevens. But while we’ve known for some time now that Stevens wouldn’t be leaving the Boston Celtics to go back to college, we didn’t know just how seriously Indiana was pursuing him.

As it turns out, they really weren’t messing around. On Saturday, ahead of the Celtics matchup with the Golden State Warriors, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the school made Stevens a massive long-term offer to take the job.

“That Indiana University job that opened a few weeks ago,” Wojnarowski said. “I was told that Indiana was prepared to offer him seven years, $70 million.”

That is a staggering sum that would have made Stevens the highest paid coach in NCAA men’s basketball by some margin. For now, that honor still belongs to John Calipari, who makes $8 million per year at Kentucky. In fact, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Jay Wright of Villanova are the only college coaches making more than $5 million per year. 

It’s not clear how much Stevens makes right now, as terms of the contract extension he signed in August of 2020 were not released. It’s safe to assume that it’s less than $10 million per year, however, as Indiana certainly wouldn’t have offered him a pay decrease as part of their pitch to convince him to leave the NBA

While that’s a lot of money to turn down, Stevens made it clear in one of his many statements about the situation that he’s happy in Boston, and has no interest in leaving any time soon. 

“I’m so grateful to this organization, and to the people here, and for all that they’ve done for us,” Stevens said. “I’ve got unbelievable leadership in Danny [Ainge] and Wyc [Grousbeck] and [Stephen Pagliuca], and what they’ve done for us, the way we’ve been supported… I love coming to work every day. I love this area. People have been great to us. My family is so happy.”

In addition, there are a number of challenges that come with being a college coach, as Stevens is quite familiar with from his days at Butler. Most notably, recruiting, which is an exhausting exercise. If the actual basketball responsibilities weren’t enough, college coaches have to spend months and months each year trying to convince players to join the program. Obviously Stevens has multiple reasons he didn’t want to leave the NBA, but that’s likely at the top of the list. 

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