On the verge of some of their higher expectations in recent memory, UMass has reportedly extended the contract of head coach Derek Kellogg.
According to the Daily Hampshire Gazette,Kellogg and UMass have agreed a three-year extension that will run through the 2017 season.
With the agreement, Kellogg’s base salary stands at $250,000 per year, but includes an additional compensation category that runs the salary to roughly $415,000. The buyout clause in case Kellogg decides to leave UMass for another position now sits at $500,000.
The Minutemen were selected to finish fifth in the loaded Atlantic 10 Conference this upcoming season at the league’s annual media, but exceeding those expectations and qualifying for their first NCAA Tournament since 1998 is the team’s overall goal.
Led by lightning-quick junior point guard Chaz Williams, UMass features a squad fresh off a run to the semifinal round of the NIT Tournament a season ago. With depth and athleticism that allows Kellogg to stretch the floor and play a feisty full court game, the Minutemen have the ability to cause havoc when they can score on the offensive end.
“I just appreciate the school, (athletic director) John McCutcheon, to President (Robert) Caret, Chancellor (Kumble) Subbaswamy on down making a commitment to me and the men’s basketball program,” Kellogg told the Daily Hampshire Gazette. “This is a place I want to be. I want to build the men’s basketball program into a consistent winner. This is a message that UMass is serious about men’s basketball and that the program is headed in the right direction.”
Overall, UMass returns four starters from a season ago, and faces an early non-conference schedule that should test the limits and hype for the Minutemen this season.
UMass will host Harvard as part of ESPN‘s 24-hour tip-off marathon on Nov. 13 before heading to Puerto Rico to face Providence on Nov. 15. Miami (FL) and an Ohio squad that is fresh off a trip to the Sweet 16 a season ago will also head to Amherst prior to the Christmas holiday.
If UMass can hold their own and find consistency in the non-conference portion of the schedule, the Minutemen will certainly be a team to watch out for once the New Year hits.
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