Loyola's Whitesell gets extension through 2012

Coach Jim Whitesell was rewarded by Loyola University Chicago for guiding the men's basketball team to its first 20-win season since 1984-85 with a contract extension through 2012.

"I am very excited and grateful for the opportunity to continue as the head coach at Loyola," Whitesell said. "This extension definitely will help us in terms of recruiting since kids know that we will be around for the foreseeable future."

Whitesell led Loyola to its first win over a ranked team since 1986 when Ramblers beat No. 15 Butler, 75-71 on Feb. 22. Loyola finished 21-11, but was left out of the NIT field. The Ramblers haven't appeared in a postseason tournament since 1985.

"Jim's accomplishments and track record speaks for itself," Loyola athletics director John Planek said. "Extending his contract is a sign of our confidence in his ability to lead our program now and in the years to come."