Mississippi State shows commitment to basketball with Chris Jans' extension

Chris Jans just received a major pay raise, and is shows Mississippi State is fully committed to winning in basketball.
Mar 15, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Chris Jans yells to his team
Mar 15, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Chris Jans yells to his team / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State basketball took a major step towards setting up the program for the future on Monday when the university announced a contract extension for head coach Chris Jans.

According to ESPN's Pete Thamel, Jans' extension runs his contract through the 2027-2028 season and will raise his salary from last year's $3.2 million up to $4.2 million in 2024-2025. Jans will also see yearly pay increases and will be able to earn more through performance-based incentives.

Jans' receives the extension and pay raise after two productive seasons in Starkville. In each of his first two years leading the Bulldogs, Chris Jans has won at least 20 games and led the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament. He's the first coach in Mississippi State history to accomplish that feat.

In 2022-2023, his Bulldogs overcame a slow start to conference play to fight their way into the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2019. Last season, Jans' took the program to their first SEC Tournament semifinal appearance since 2010. It was also the first season with multiple Top-10 victories since 2001-2002, and MSU made consecutive NCAA Tournament trips for the first time since 2008-2009.

Chris Jans' extension signals Mississippi State's commitment to basketball

Mississippi State is making things crystal clear. They're committed to trying to win in men's basketball. According to USA Today's most recent data, Jans' one million dollar pay raise moves him into the top half of SEC in coaching salaries and ties him with Indiana's Mike Woodson at 13th nationally.

State is quite literally matching a blue blood program's annual head coach pay.

Earlier this offseason, reports surfaced that Chris Jans had discussions with Arkansas about their head coaching vacancy. Arkansas ultimately went in a very different direction by hiring Kentucky's John Calipari, but it was still a sign that Jans was at least considering other options.

This new deal shows athletic director Zac Selmon is willing to do what is necessary to keep Chris Jans in Starkville so he can continue to build his program. Add in the ongoing renovations to Humphrey Coliseum and further emphasis on growing NIL at MSU, and you get the message.

State's taking hoops seriously, and that hasn't always been the case.

Expectations just got a bit higher for Chris Jans' third season at State

I usually hesitate to say that anytime a coach sees a pay raise it automatically means he's now under more pressure to win. Because, in reality, periodical extensions and pay raises for a coach who's achieving an acceptable level of success for a specific program are just the lay of the land in college sports.

That being said, earning an extra million a year to become a Top-15 nationally paid coach entering a season where you've got a lot of talent on the roster means there won't be much leeway given for anything other than an outstanding year.

Mississippi State brings back two of the SEC's best players in Josh Hubbard and Cam Matthews and has surrounded them with a Top-10 ranked transfer class loaded with talented scorers. The expectation is to win and win big.

Simply making the tournament the last two seasons was a step in the right direction for the program. But for year three, fans won't be pleased if State is on the bubble again entering March and sees another early exit from the Big Dance. Frankly, that was the case before Jans' extension, and it's even more true now.

Fortunately, I have full faith in Chris Jans to get Mississippi State past that point. Things are trending up for Bulldog basketball, and the university and fanbase are bought in. Now's the time to win.