Gerry Gimelstob, who is entering the last year of his four-year contract as George Washington University's basketball coach, has reached an agreement for a new long-term contract that will automatically renew itself at the end of each season.

Athletic Director Steve Bilsky said yesterday that he hopes Gimelstob will sign the new contract before the Colonials open their season on Tuesday. "I believe a coach should have security, especially in this day and age of high-pressure college basketball," Bilsky said. "Gerry and I both think this contract does that for him."

Gimelstob, 33, has a 44-41 record in three years at GW, including 17-12 last season. This year's team is considered one of the favorites in the Atlantic-10 Conference after finishing third last year with a strong finish for an 11-7 league record.

Although Bilsky would not reveal terms of the contract, it is believed to guarantee Gimelstob three years salary if for some reason the school decided to fire him. Gimelstob is believed to be making about $40,000 annually under his current contract and Bilsky said he will receive a raise under the new contract. "Gerry's doing all right," Bilsky said.

Bilsky said he and Gimelstob began negotiating for a new contract at the end of last season and the decision to go to a self-renewing contract -- something never before done at GW -- was mutual.