The Cincinnati board of trustees approved the next contract extension for head baskeball coach Mick Cronin today. It’s a 7 year deal that will pay Cronin 2.2 million dollars a year. That makes him one of the 4 highest paid coaches in the American Athletic Conference behind Kevin Ollie of National Champion UConn, the legendary Larry Brown currently at SMU, and Josh Pastner of Memphis.
Cronin has been at UC for 8 seasons. He’s signed extensions, or simply had his contract adjusted to pay him more, 4 times. The most recent time being last year. With the Frank Haith deal, 7 years, 1.85 million dollars a year, maybe Cincinanti felt some pressure to pay Cronin higher than the coach at Tulsa.
Or maybe it’s just a sign of committment and respect. Cincinnati wants Mick Cronin to hang around. Mick Cronin wants to hang around Cincinnati. He doesn’t appear to want to be the highest paid coach in the league, but he wants to be one of them. He wants the same opportunities the rest of the league has. He’s deserved it throughout his run in Cincinnati. He’s taken a program that was as down as a major program could possibly be without being heavily sanctioned and turned it back into a league champion that has gone to the NCAA tournament each of the last 4 seasons while winning 3 NCAA tournament games.
If Cronin actually hangs on to this contract in full, which he won’t given the history, he would hit 15 seasons as Cincinnati head coach. That would put him as the second longest tenured coach in Cincinnati history.
Cincinnati.com had the following quotes from the UC head coach:
“Eight years ago, I was named head coach at the University of Cincinnati and at that press conference I said among other things that I wanted to make UC basketball an elite program, a class program, mentioned with the likes of the best college basketball programs in the country.
“Today, I hope that my commitment to that statement is much more in focus and understood. While it is a great honor to be the coach at my alma mater, my goals for our program are still very much the same.
“We have come a very long way in eight years, especially as one of only 16 teams to reach the last four NCAA Tournaments. Academically, we have had great success as our University continues to rise on the charts nationally. It is very true that I cherish coaching at home, on the campus where I literally grew up, but I believe that we can continue our climb to the top of college basketball at UC.”