NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)Missouri extended first-year basketball coach Dennis Gates ‘ contract another year through the 2028-29 season, announcing the deal Friday night soon after he guided the Tigers to their first semifinal berth at the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
University officials said its board unanimously approved the extension Thursday. The deal was made public shortly after No. 25 Missouri beat 17th-ranked Tennessee 79-71 in the SEC quarterfinals in Nashville.
Michael Williams, chair of Missouri’s board of curators, said Gates talked of building a championship culture when hired in March 2022.
“He is an individual with high standards and a clear vision for our student-athletes,” Williams said in a statement. “It has been an exceptional season, and the Board is very excited to witness our program build on this success.”
Gates has led the Tigers to a 24-8 record and the No. 4 seed in the SEC Tournament. They next play Alabama on Saturday – the first time Missouri has made it into the conference semifinals since joining the league in 2012.
The new deal extends Gates’ contract by a season and raises his annual salary to $4 million for the 2023-24 season. He’ll receive $100,000 increase each season throughout the new contract.
Gates thanked the board, university president Mun Choi and athletic director Desireé Reed-Francois and said he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
He already has posted one of the best debuts by a Missouri head coach with his 24 wins second-most for a first-year coach. The Tigers were picked to finish 11th in the SEC preseason poll only to match its best record since joining this league in July 2012.
Missouri averaged 11,377 fans per game, fourth-best in the SEC and a 62.6% increase from the previous season. That’s the best among Power Six schools.
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