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Memphis, Penny Hardaway agree to 5-year extension

NCAA Basketball: Holiday Hoopsgiving-Memphis at Auburn

Dec 12, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Memphis Tigers head coach Penny Hardaway coaches against the Auburn Tigers in the first half of a Holiday Hoopsgiving game at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Penny Hardaway has agreed to a five-year extension worth $12.2 million with Memphis, keeping the third-year coach under contract through April 2026.

Memphis announced the extension.

Hardaway said in a statement that coaching at Memphis is his dream job and he is thankful for the continued support.

“Memphis basketball is in the national spotlight, and we are continuing to get better and better every day,” Hardaway said. “The future is bright for the Tigers.”

Hardaway is 48-27 (.640) overall with Tigers. He had the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation in 2019.

The extension updates the binding memorandum of understanding Hardaway agreed to on March 20, 2018. The deal starts April 16, 2021, and will pay the man who played 14 NBA seasons $2.32 million each of the first two years, $2.5 million the next two seasons and $2.6 million in the fifth year.

Memphis athletic director Todd Veatch said Hardaway has rejuvenated Tigers’ basketball. The university led the nation in increased attendance during Hardaway’s first season, averaging 7,840 more a game and ranked 17th nationally with 14,065 fans per game. That jumped to ninth last season with 16,312.

“He has had top-ranked recruiting classes and is establishing the foundation of a nationally competitive program,” Veatch said in a statement. “I have really enjoyed working with him, and we are excited to have Coach lead our program in the many years to come.”

Hardaway’s base pay will be $200,000, with the remainder coming from radio and television appearances and public relations, public service and public speaking appearances.

Hardaway already has three players in the NBA with James Wiseman, who played only three games at Memphis, then was drafted by Golden State with the No. 2 overall pick, followed by Precious Achuiwa at No. 20 to Miami. Another former Tiger, Jeremiah Martin, spent last season with Brooklyn.

Memphis led the nation last season in field-goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 36.1% shooting.