UC Athletics Gives Cronin Two-Year Extension|
June 15, 2009
CINCINNATI - University of Cincinnati Director of Athletics Mike Thomas has announced a two-year contract extension for head men's basketball coach Mick Cronin, pending University of Cincinnati Board of Trustee approval. This is the first extension for Cronin, who was hired on March 23, 2006 to a six-year contract.
"Under Coach Cronin's leadership the past three years the men's basketball program has improved on the court and in the classroom," said Director of Athletics Mike Thomas. "I look forward to the continued development of the program to once again attain national prominence and compete for BIG EAST championships on an annual basis."
Cincinnati is coming off its first winning season under Cronin as the Bearcats posted an 18-14 record and finished tied for ninth in the BIG EAST. Junior guard Deonta Vaughn, who averaged 15.3 points and 4.7 assists per game, became the first UC basketball player to earn back-to-back all-BIG EAST honors as he was selected third team all-league by the coaches. Freshman Yancy Gates was named to the 2008-09 BIG EAST All-Rookie team, becoming the second player under Cronin to earn the honor in the last three years. Gates led the Bearcats in rebounding with 6.1 per contest and was second on the squad in scoring averaging 10.6 points.
Since Cronin took over the program in 2006-07, the Bearcats have shown improvement each year, progressing from 11 wins in his first season to 13 in 2007-08 to 18 this past season. This coming year, Cronin will have his most experienced team at UC as all but one regular from last year's squad returns and he adds four newcomers, including freshman point guard Cashmere Wright, who was considered one of the nation's Top 100 recruits in high school.
"I am honored to be the head basketball coach at the University of Cincinnati and plan on being here for a very long time," said Cronin. "The University of Cincinnati is my alma mater and this is my hometown, so I look forward to the continuing rebuilding of our program and leading it back to national prominence.
"We have made great progress in a short period of time, both on and off the floor," continued Cronin. We have taken no shortcuts and dealt with some tough setbacks, while continuing our improvement. I am very excited about our upcoming season and returning nucleus of players, along with four first-year Bearcats. We are looking forward to a great season and our team is working extremely hard to improve this summer.
"I want to thank all the Bearcat fans and the people of Cincinnati who have been so supportive while we have rebuilt our program from scratch. The support of our boosters in UCATS, our former players, alumni, and fans are imperative to our success and we appreciate their loyalty and love for Bearcats basketball."