He arrived in 2000. Highly regarded from Illinois State. His first team was considered the top bubble team that got shafted on Selection Sunday. Langhi SEC POY etc.
The following few years were major rebuilding years from Jan van Breda Kolff's soft recruiting classes and key injuries to players like Greg LaPointe. The 2003-4 team was full of experienced seniors and SEC POY Matt Freije. That team made it to the Sweet 16. I felt like if that team did not do well that season, CKS would really be on the hot seat.
It was always speculated CKS would only leave for a top 2 or 3 Big 10 job from his days as a player at Purdue. Those came and went over the past several years. It was somewhat well-known that Ohio State picked Thad Matta over Stallings in 2004 and that he may very well have left for that job.
Fast forward to 2012...I think it is very important for everyone to understand this:
KEVIN STALLINGS - BASKETBALL, ALONG WITH JAMES FRANKLIN - FOOTBALL AND TIM CORBIN - BASEBALL ARE ALL AMONG THE TOP TEN HIGHEST PAID COACHES IN THE COUNTRY IN THEIR RESPECTIVE SPORTS:
Stallings makes $1.5MM per year Franklin was just signed to a 7-year $22MM deal Corbin makes $625,000 per year
These contracts are incentive-oriented and contain automatic rollovers etc. It is widely-known that Vanderbilt offers very creative contracts with David Williams crafting the documents.
This is all to say, the athletic coaching climate at Vanderbilt is among the best in the country. The facilities are top notch [football announced a $50MM building project this offseason] and the coaches are like a true family as opposed to a big state school that will chew you up and spit you out. He has publicly stated his window to leave was several years ago and he, like every other coach and their family, simply loves working at Vanderbilt and living in Nashville. It is as simple as that. Furthermore, there aren't many schools that can match the salaries, but I'm not sure it is all about money with the type of coach/person Vanderbilt attracts. Coach Franklin said he Vanderbilt IS his major job [best school in the best city in the best conference] and as long as the administration continues to this renaissance in supporting football with his hiring, he's not going anywhere. He signed a top-25 class and has one of the highest paid assistant coaching staffs in the SEC.
Oregon, LSU and Auburn tried to hire Corbin over the years and were essentially outbid.