Indiana University Was Willing To Offer Brad Stevens $70 Million For Head Coach Job

Posted on April 21, 2021 - Last Updated on March 20, 2024

Brad Stevens may have turned down a massive deal to become the next IU head basketball coach.

The school’s offer was a long-term one according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“Brad Stevens came out to say that he was not interested in that Indiana University job that opened a few weeks ago. I was told that Indiana was prepared to offer him seven years, $70 million.”

That Scrooge McDuck-sized pile of money would have made him the highest-paid coach in college basketball.

Can Mike Woodson save IU basketball?

It’s been a rough handful of years for the IU faithful.

The Hoosiers haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2016. That’s the longest dry spell for the team since IU’s March Madness drought from 1967 to 1973.

Needless to say, it was time to make a change down in Bloomington.

The team fired Archie Miller and started its next coaching search.

The Hoosiers have been looking for a savior for a long time now. Someone to return the program to its former heights.

IU was hoping that Stevens would come take on the challenge, but now it’s placing that weight on Mike Woodson’s shoulders.

The school may have been ready to send Stevens that $70 million deal, but the coach said that the offer never made its way to him.

“First of all, I was never offered a package, so that’s all news to me. Secondly, I wasn’t going to leave anyways. And the reason being is because this place, regardless of it was a pro organization or a college, has been so good to our family, so good to me.”

Coaching the Celtics is one of the most prestigious jobs in all of basketball, so Stevens wanting to stay in Boston makes sense, even if the Hoosiers did drop a bag of gold at his feet.

Now that Woodson is IU’s next coach, the program’s lofty expectations are his to deal with.

Stevens hire would have changed IU’s odds

Since IU was less than impressive last season, the team’s betting odds were going to be longshots at Indiana’s online sportsbooks.

BetMGM Sportsbook told PlayIndiana that Stevens was the only hire that could change IU’s odds.

“Per our trading team, we will likely open Indiana in the +10,000 range to win the NCAA Tournament next year. The coach they hire won’t really change their odds unless it is a big name like Brad Stevens.”

As expected, the team opened at +10,000 after the Woodson hire.

IU’s betting odds have actually improved since then.

They’re still not one of the favorites for the next college basketball season, but there’s been a noteworthy step-up for the team.

IU basketball betting odds improve

The Hoosiers might not have landed their dream coach, but things are still looking up in the odds department.

BetMGM currently has IU at +3,500 to win the next National Championship.

That’s quite a shift from that original +10,000.

The change is thanks to Woodson’s hot start during his first few weeks on the job.

Woodson’s roster building has helped tremendously.

He has already convinced several players to return to Bloomington next season, including IU’s best player Trayce Jackson-Davis.

So even though the Hoosiers struck out with Brad Stevens, they might not even need him to begin with.

A Stevens hire would have been an undeniable home run for the program.

However, Woodson is already showing he’s a coach that players want to rally behind.

The true test will come when the team actually hits the hardwood, but at least for now, things are looking optimistic for IU fans and those betting on Hoosiers basketball.

Photo by Associated Press
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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