Bill Self, Les Miles and Jeff Long Announce Salary Reductions

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Today, along with University leadership, Bill Self, Les Miles and Jeff Long announced they each will take a 10 percent salary reduction for the next six months beginning on May 1 in response to the financial effects of COVID-19. The combined salary reduction will save the athletics department nearly $500,000 over the six-month period.

Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bill Self
“KU has been home to us for 17 years, and been very good to our family. During our tenure we’ve had our ups and downs, but these turbulent times are unprecedented and the immediate future is unknown. I, like others, will be returning 10 percent of my salary to help bridge the financial gap in our athletic department. These times are serious, but temporary, and it’s everyone’s hope that we can return to a safe and prosperous time soon. I have no doubt that Allen Fieldhouse is going to be the loudest it’s ever been when we all get together again, and I can’t wait. Let’s all stay positive. Rock Chalk.”

Head Football Coach Les Miles
“My family and I so enjoy being a part of KU, our athletic community and Lawrence. This is a great place and I enjoy giving to this University. Returning 10 percent of my salary is something we wanted to do to help a place we’ve quickly grown to love. We are all going through this pandemic together and I believe that our country will come through this stronger.”

Athletics Director Jeff Long
“I have learned quickly since arriving at KU a little over a year and a half ago about the determination and resiliency of our fans as well as the entire Lawrence community. My family has been welcomed with open arms and we want to do our part by helping the University and Kansas Athletics get through these tough times. Along with the leadership of our University, I am foregoing 10 percent of my salary beginning on May 1. We continue to evaluate what our future needs are to determine whether there will be additional salary cuts among Kansas Athletics staff for fiscal year 2021.

“While we do not know when this pandemic will come to an end, we are encouraged by the strength of each of our student-athletes, coaches and staff. We will continue taking steps to position our athletics department for a successful future. I am proud to be a Kansas Jayhawk and represent this prestigious University.”

Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.