On November 27, 2021, immediately after Baylor’s win over Texas Tech to get to 10-2 for the 2021 season, The Athletic’s Sam Khan Jr. reported that Baylor and Dave Aranda were working on a new contract to keep Aranda in Waco for a long(er) time. Aranda originally signed a 6-year deal when he took over in January 2020.
Three months then passed with indications from those In The Know (in the context of the larger coaching carousel), including, obviously, Baylor AD Mack Rhoades, that things were progressing, the parties were still working on the deal, but none to worry, it’s getting done. Then it was nearly done for a while before being DONE a few weeks ago, but they just hadn’t announced it yet. If anybody knew definitively the reasons for the delay, they weren’t sharing.
Well, now it’s DONE done, and though we do not have many details about the extension except that it runs an extra three years through 2029, we have a formal announcement.
There was much rejoining throughout the land!
Without financial or other details, which will probably leak out slowly as needed, we can only speculate about everything this extension entails. But it is informed speculation based on how these things tend to go, so we can be reasonably sure that the extension includes the following: substantial raises for assistants (which was reportedly a major issue for Aranda in the negotiations), a substantial raise for Aranda himself (obviously), some kind of commitment about future facilities (which really did not matter much in this particular deal because those commitments have already been made and announced), some modification of a buyout, and, of course, more years on the deal. These are the core elements of any coaching extension because they provide—and more importantly, perhaps, signal to others—stability and belief in the program as it is being run. That stability is important for recruiting, keeping the coaching staff intact, and fending off other potential suitors.
To me, the most interesting feature of the detail beyond the financials is something we probably won’t know about for a while, if it exists—commitments or arrangements for NIL support going forward. I am one that believes NIL has completely changed the face of recruiting in CFB and will continue to do so going forward, and though Rhoades recently said something about Baylor having 300+ NIL deals in place for its athletes, just given our size and private-school status alone, it’s probably reasonable to assume we are somewhat behind our main competitors. It would make perfect sense for Aranda, knowing this, to push for the inclusion of NIL-related commitments in this extension. Again, we just won’t know whether that is the case until it is confirmed somewhere. But I’d bet on it.
In any event, Baylor fans should be extremely pleased that this long-promised and teased deal, has finally been announced to the CFB world at large. This is a big day for Baylor Football even if you believed it was always going to be done and there was nothing to worry about, and a big day for the new Big 12 Conference. There is little doubt at this point that Aranda is one of the best coaches in the country, and with this deal in place, he should be coaching in Waco for a long time.