Extension to keep Romar at Washington through 2015-16 season

Updated: August 3, 2007, 7:47 PM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Nine months after agreeing to the framework of a contract extension, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar's deal is finally done.

Washington athletic director Todd Turner announced Friday that Romar has signed a deal to keep him with the Huskies through the 2015-16 season.

Romar will make $1.105 million per season in guaranteed money -- $375,000 in base salary and the rest coming through endorsements, media commitments and speaking engagements. He will also receive another $200,000 in deferred income annually and could get $200,000 in performance-based incentives.

Romar's reworked contract at Washington puts him near the top of the Pac-10 in basketball coaching salaries. Arizona's Lute Olson reportedly earns $1.42 million per season, and Ben Howland of UCLA reportedly gets $1.3 million per year.

Tyrone Willingham, coach of the rebuilding Washington football team that Romar's basketball squad has supplanted as the Huskies' most popular program, earns $1.41 million per year -- $100,000 of which is deferred.

"When I took this job, I made it very clear that the University of Washington is the place where I wanted to be and that I was not interested in being anywhere else," Romar said. "I continue to make that very clear."

Romar agreed to the outline of his new deal last November, but some of the language in the deal needed to be discussed with university officials. Romar then pushed the extension aside, until the 2006-07 season was complete.

"I can't imagine a better fit for the University of Washington basketball program than Lorenzo," Turner said. "It is rare, indeed, in this day and time to have a coach who loves his university and his job enough to make such a long-term commitment."

Romar is in his sixth season at his alma mater, and has complied a 103-55 record, turning around a downtrodden program and vaulting Washington basketball past the Huskies' storied football program for recent success and interest. Washington regularly has sellouts at its home arena and has made the NCAA tournament in three of Romar's five seasons.

Washington reached the regional semifinals in both the 2005 and 2006 seasons. The Huskies were a No. 1 seed for the first time in school history in 2005 after winning the Pac-10 tournament title.

Romar played two seasons at Washington from 1978-1980. He spent five years in the NBA before becoming a college coach. He was a successful assistant at UCLA, helping the Bruins win the 1995 NCAA title, then became a head coach at Pepperdine and St. Louis before returning to Washington.

"This also allows us to continue to focus on making this program a national contender year-in and year-out," Romar said. "It is truly a blessing to be in this position."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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