Bounceback season lands formerly maligned Big 12 coach an extension
After leading the Texas Longhorns to a 24-win season and a return to the NCAA tournament, head coach Rick Barnes has been rewarded with a contract extension through 2019 according to the San Antonio Express-News. The extension, which simply tacks on four years to Barnes’ current deal, was approved by the school’s board of regents on Thursday.
With there being no raise other than what was already written into Barnes’ contract (he stands to make $2.55 million this season), this may not be seen as a big deal. But the additional years are a sign of stability that Barnes and his staff can point to while on the recruiting trail. And after entering the 2013-14 season amidst skepticism, Barnes’ Longhorns look poised to put together an excellent season in 2014-15.
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With their entire rotation from last season back and the addition of five-star center Myles Turner, some consider Texas to be the biggest threat to Kansas’ current run of earning at least a share of the last ten Big 12 regular season titles. But those two programs will have plenty of competition this season, with reigning conference tournament champion Iowa State, Baylor, Oklahoma and Kansas State among the teams who also harbor thoughts of winning the Big 12.
Seven of the league’s ten teams reached the NCAA tournament last season, with West Virginia landing in the Postseason NIT. Texas will not only look to make a return trip to the NCAA tournament but also reach the Final Four, something the program last did in 2003.