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Men’s basketball coach Mick Cronin signs 2-year contract extension

UCLA men’s basketball extended coach Mick Cronin’s contract for an additional two years. After finishing up his second season in Westwood with a Final Four run, Cronin is now signed through 2027. (Photo by Trevor Brown Jr/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

By Sam Connon

April 8, 2021 10:40 a.m.

Mick Cronin is extending his stay in Westwood just a little longer.

After leading UCLA men’s basketball to its first Final Four since 2008, the coach has signed a two-year extension that will keep him locked up through the end of the 2026-2027 season. Cronin initially signed a six-year, $24 million contract back in April 2019.

The extension is worth $4 million guaranteed in each of the two years.

“I love being at UCLA,” Cronin said in a written statement. “The commitment from our players over the past two seasons has been rewarding, especially as we have dealt with some unusual challenges during a global pandemic. I would like to thank our players and my coaching staff for their continued commitment to build this basketball program into something of which we can all be proud. I am humbled by the support of the Bruin community. We are looking forward to next season when we can get back into Pauley Pavilion with our fans.”

Cronin is 41-22 through two seasons at the helm with the Bruins, with five of those wins coming in this year’s March Madness. It took former coach Steve Alford until his fourth season to collect his fifth win in an NCAA tournament.

The buyout clause in Cronin’s contract has been adjusted, but the new year-by-year figures have yet to be released. Per a UCLA Athletics spokesperson, the buyout is still reciprocal, as it was in the initial contract.

But a buyout is hardly on anyone’s mind in Westwood – after all, Cronin has six more years on his deal and will bring back the majority of his production from his Final Four squad. Outlets such as CBS and USA Today have UCLA as the No. 1 team in the nation heading into next season, while ESPN, Sports Illustrated and others have it squarely in the top five.

“In less than two years in Westwood – through seasons disrupted by a global pandemic – Mick has led UCLA men’s basketball back to its rightful place among the nation’s elite,” said Athletics Director Martin Jarmond in a written statement. “His leadership has given Bruin Nation a program to be proud of, galvanizing alumni and fans around the world, and it’s only the beginning. This extension represents the stability and commitment needed to execute the long-term vision that Mick and I share. The future is bright.”

The team’s future on the court is highly dependent on what sophomore guard Johnny Juzang and senior guard Chris Smith decide to do in the offseason, but with Cronin set to stick around another couple of years, things are a lot more concrete on the bench.

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Sam Connon | Sports senior staff
Connon is currently a Sports senior staff writer for the football, men's basketball and baseball beats. He was the Sports editor for the 2019-2020 academic year, an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, men's soccer, cross country, men's golf and women's golf beats from 2018-2019 and a reporter on the baseball and women's basketball beats from 2017-2018. Connon also contributes movie reviews for Arts & Entertainment and co-hosts Daily Bruin Sports' weekly podcast, "Out of Bounds." Connon is a fourth-year Communication student from Winchester, Massachusetts.
Connon is currently a Sports senior staff writer for the football, men's basketball and baseball beats. He was the Sports editor for the 2019-2020 academic year, an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, men's soccer, cross country, men's golf and women's golf beats from 2018-2019 and a reporter on the baseball and women's basketball beats from 2017-2018. Connon also contributes movie reviews for Arts & Entertainment and co-hosts Daily Bruin Sports' weekly podcast, "Out of Bounds." Connon is a fourth-year Communication student from Winchester, Massachusetts.
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