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University of Cincinnati basketball coach Mick Cronin agrees to contract extension

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CINCINNATI - University of Cincinnati men's basketball coach Mick Cronin has agreed in principle to a contract extension through the 2018 season, Athletics Director Whit Babcock announced Wednesday.

The new agreement adds one year to Cronin's current contract, extending his services through March 26, 2018.  It would add one or two additional years if the Bearcats make the NCAA tournament in either 2014 or 2015.

"In an industry where coaching changes occur frequently, Mick brings a tremendous amount of stability to our program and loyalty to our institution and community," Babcock said. "Coming off a third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, a fall semester with the team achieving its highest grade point average since 2007 and a strength of schedule ranked 27th nationally, I'm pleased with the accomplishments being made on the court and in the classroom.

"I look forward to working with Mick and our staff in achieving our championship aspirations for many years to come. Cincinnati men's basketball is well positioned for the future."

Cronin's Bearcats were 74-32 during the past three seasons with three consecutive 20-win seasons. Cronin ranks third in school history for most coaching victories with a 204-124 career record after 10 seasons.

Last season, UC's attendance average at Fifth Third Arena reached its highest level since the Cronin coaching era began in 2006-2007.  

"I am grateful to President Ono, Whit Babcock and Cincinnati fans everywhere for the confidence they continue to show in me and the opportunity to represent the University of Cincinnati," said Cronin.  "I can honestly say that I have the best job in America, serving as an ambassador for the city for which I've grown up and university that means so much to me.  There is no place I'd rather be than on our campus and in the gym teaching our young men."

Cronin's new contract will reward him for academic accomplishments, home scheduling and NCAA tournament achievements.

More details will be released after formal approval by the Board of Trustees in June, the university said.

Related story: Five-star prospect signs with UC: http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/sports/college_sports/university_of_cincinnati/university-of-cincinnati-has-signed-jermaine-lawrence-coach-mick-cronin-says

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