Oakland coach Greg Kampe signs extension that will take him into his 70s

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Greg Kampe and Oakland University have reached a deal on a contract extension that will take the men's head basketball coach beyond 40 years at the school.

Kampe was preparing to enter the last year of his contract in the 2022-23 season, but the new four-year deal, signed last week, gives him five more. He now will be under contract through the 2026-27 season.

Kampe confirmed the extension to The News on Monday night.

Oakland head coach Greg Kampe.

Kampe, 66, has coached Oakland since 1984, when he was 28, and the school was Division II. He has made the NCAA Tournament three times in Division I, in 2005, 2010 and 2011. In a recent interview with The News, Kampe admitted he never expected to spend his entire head-coaching career at Oakland.

"No, no, at that time in my career, I was gonna come to Oakland, win the championship the first year and be gone the second year," he said with a laugh. "Most people have to change areas and change places, and I was able to stay at the same place and grow professionally as the community around me grew.

"I don't think I would change that for anything."

In signing the extension, there is a good chance Kampe will eventually become the longest-current-tenured coach at a single Division I school. Finishing his 38th season, he just jumped into second place, after the retirement of Duke's Mike Krzyzewski. The leader at 47 seasons, Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, has hinted at retirement in the not-too-distant future.

With his 664 wins, Kampe is third among active Division I coaches at their current school, trailing only Boeheim (998) and Kampe's good friend, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo (666).

In 38 seasons, Kampe is 664-504, including 400-342 in the Division I era, since 1999-2000.

Kampe's new contract calls for a base salary just over $300,000, plus he receives the profits from one "buy game" per season. That game is at athletic director Steve Waterfield's discretion. Those "buy game" profits this past season amounted to another $80,000 for Kampe, who also receives money from summer camps.

His salary, all things considered, pushes $400,000 a year, which puts him just behind Western Michigan's Dwayne Stephens and Central Michigan's Tony Barbee ($420,000), and right around or slightly ahead of Eastern Michigan's Stan Heath ($375,000). Detroit Mercy coach Mike Davis' salary is unknown, as the university is private and not subject to open-records requests.

"I look forward to Greg continuing to lead the men's basketball program," Waterfield said in a statement to The News. "His leadership has resulted in decades of success on and off the court.

"As intercollegiate athletics continue to change, I am also pleased with how Greg plans to position the program for even more competitive success in the coming years within this ever-changing landscape."

Oakland was 20-12 last season, including 12-7 in the Horizon League, but lost to eventual champion Wright State in the Horizon League tournament quarterfinals. 

Oakland returns key pieces in point guard Jalen Moore, forward Trey Townsend and sharp-shooter Blake Lampman. The Golden Grizzlies also received Wisconsin transfer Lorne Bowman II, a former Orchard Lake St. Mary's standout. But they lost Micah Parrish to the transfer portal and eventually San Diego State, and Jamal Cain, co-Horizon League player of the year, is gone, as well, after graduating.

Oakland continues to scour the transfer portal for one more impact player, ideally a wing.

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Twitter: @tonypaul1984