Dan Muller

Illinois State basketball coach Dan Muller, shown during the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament quarterfinal game against Evansville earlier this year in St. Louis, has received a seven-year contract extension.


NORMAL — Illinois State showed Tuesday it wants Dan Muller to remain the Redbird head basketball coach for a long time as athletic director Larry Lyons announced Muller has signed a seven-year contract extension through 2024.

Muller's salary will increase from $464,224 to a total compensation package of $550,000 for the 2017-18 season. The package includes a base salary of $514,000 plus $36,000 of deferred compensation. In 2018-19, Muller's annual base salary increases to $564,000 plus $36,000 of deferred compensation for a total package of $600,000.

“This contract extension reflects the strength of our men's basketball program under Dan's leadership and our mutual desire for long-term stability,” said Lyons. “We were able to incorporate available deferred compensation plans along with his base salary to build a competitive overall compensation package in our marketplace.

“It certainly helps that we have been able to generate new external dollars from initiatives such as Redbird Sports Properties to help fund budget increases such as this.”

Lyons said there are bonuses for the Redbirds winning the Missouri Valley Conference title, advancing to the NCAA Tournament or National Invitation Tournament and Muller being named MVC Coach of the Year. 

Muller has compiled a 104-65 record in five seasons as coach of his alma mater. Last season, the Redbirds shared the MVC regular-season title for the first time since 1998 when Muller was a player. ISU set school records for victories (28) and MVC wins (17) as Muller was named MVC Coach of the Year.

The Redbirds have advanced to the second round of the NIT twice under Muller (2015, 2017) along with a semifinal appearance in the College Basketball Invitational (2014).

“I have always felt incredibly blessed and honored to have the responsibility of holding the title of head coach here at my alma mater, and I am humbled by the support shown by President Larry Dietz and Larry Lyons,” said Muller. “I am excited to be a part of what I believe is a special time with Redbird basketball, and I look forward to continuing to work with my staff and my players to help represent Illinois State the right way, earn degrees and win championships.”

If Muller were to leave ISU for another Division I head coaching position, Lyons said the buyout would be $50,000 and a future home-and-home series with the Redbirds.

Muller is the first coach in ISU history to beat four top-25 ranked teams in his first four seasons. Those four top-25 wins are also tied for the most ever by a Redbird coach.

ISU has won 57 MVC games under Muller, tied for most among current league programs during the last five seasons. The Redbirds have had 11 all-MVC selections (two first team, six second team and three honorable mention) and six MVC All-Defensive members under Muller's guidance.

Paris Lee, one of Muller's first recruits, capped his career by earning the 2017 MVC Larry Bird Player of the Year and the MVC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Three ISU players have been named All-MVC Scholar-Athlete under Muller. Also, 18 of 19 basketball academic seniors have earned undergraduate degrees. The one who hasn't, Justin McCloud, is slated to do so at the end of the fall semester.

Follow Jim Benson on Twitter: @Pg_Benson


Sports Writer

Sports Writer for The Pantagraph.

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