COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Larranaga's Extension Keeps Him At G. Mason

Thursday, April 3, 2008

George Mason Coach Jim Larranaga agreed to a three-year contract extension yesterday, ending the prospect of him leaving the Patriots for the Providence job. The new deal runs through the 2014-15 season.

"I've made it clear over the years that my family and I have loved it here at George Mason," Larranaga said in a written statement. "I feel very connected to both the George Mason and greater Fairfax County communities. We have enjoyed their great support and it continues to grow. I hope to retire here at George Mason, and this contract extension allows me to do just that."

Larranaga, 58, has a 207-131 record in 11 seasons in Fairfax and has taken the Patriots to the NCAA tournament four times, including the Final Four two years ago. This season, George Mason (23-11) won its first Colonial Athletic Association title in seven years before losing to Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Providence, which fired Tim Welsh after the season, received permission from George Mason Athletic Director Tom O'Connor last week to interview Larranaga, who captained the Friars during his playing career. Larranaga did meet with Providence officials before negotiating the extension with George Mason.

It was not the first time he had been pursued by a Big East program. After the 2006 Final Four run, Larranaga turned down an opportunity to interview with Seton Hall.

"He is a tremendous basketball coach, he's our coach," O'Connor said, "and I'm proud to say that he will continue to be our coach for the next seven years."

-- Steven Goff


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