Missouri men's basketball fans who hoped to see Matt Painter become the next Tigers basketball head coach were left disappointed when Purdue announced Wednesday that Painter accepted an eight-year contract to stay and coach the Boilermakers.
More details about Painter's new contract came Thursday during a news conference in West Lafayette, Ind. The deal guarantees at least $2.3 million annually through the 2018-19 season. He received $1.3 million annually under his previous contract. Purdue Athletic Director Morgan Burke said the move hopefully secures Painter, 40, as Purdue's coach for the rest of his career.
Painter was the first coach Missouri Athletics Director Mike Alden sought as a replacement to former men's basketball coach Mike Anderson, who accepted the coaching position at Arkansas on March 23.
Burke said Missouri's interest in Painter was a good thing.
"I’m actually delighted that this happened," Burke said. "I honestly believe Matt had been here long enough that he needed to look in the mirror, needed to look elsewhere to put something up against Purdue. We have all done that at some point in time in our career."
Burke said Alden contacted him on Sunday to receive permission to speak with Painter. Alden then called Burke again on Wednesday to congratulate him on keeping Painter at Purdue.
What took place between those phone calls is known only by those involved in the situation. Painter chose not to go into details when asked about the meetings he had with Alden and Missouri representatives, including one Tuesday in Orlando, Fla.
"We had discussions," Painter said. "We had lengthy discussions. I’m not going to go into the particulars of it just out of respect for Missouri."
The "particulars" include whether Alden officially offered Painter the position and how much money was offered if a contract was on the table.
The details of the eight-year, $2.3 million annual contract Painter signed might give some insight to the range that Missouri is willing to offer to other candidates.
But it is clear that Missouri talked to Painter, and Painter listened. Then Painter spoke with Burke.
"He was true to his word," Burke said. "He said ‘I’m not going to make any decision before I talk to you.’ And he did that. The end result is we got a meeting of the minds. But he’s probably got a deeper commitment today than he had a week ago today."
Painter agreed and said his convictions as a Purdue employee are stronger.
"Talk's cheap," Painter said. "It comes down to action and what you do. I'm proud to be a Boilermaker."