Ford turns down Providence to stay at UMass

Updated: April 10, 2008, 11:37 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

University of Massachusetts coach Travis Ford turned down an offer from Providence on Thursday, preferring to remain with the Minutemen.

UMass athletic director John McCutcheon announced Ford's decision Thursday night at the Minutemen's basketball dinner, but would not discuss terms of the new deal.

"We would like everyone to know that Travis Ford, our head men's basketball coach, will be with us for many years to come," McCutcheon said. "We have made great strides here over the last couple of years and we look forward to making many more."

Ford's decision was first reported Thursday by the Daily Hampshire Gazette, and later confirmed for ESPN.com's Andy Katz by UMass sources. It left Providence in search of a coach several weeks after it fired coach Tim Welsh after 10 years.

"Probably the number one thing that kept me here was the showing in New York from our fans. No question it made a difference," said Ford, referring to the NIT championship game loss to Ohio State at Madison Square Garden. "I took my time in making the decision and I have no doubt this is the right one. This is the right place for me."

Ford said he met with Providence athletic director Bob Driscoll at the NCAA Final Four and again in Providence on Wednesday, when he received an offer. His decision to stay at UMass is two days removed from his statement that he wasn't interested in LSU's coaching vacancy.

Ford played for Rick Pitino at Kentucky. Pitino was a former Providence coach.

Ford is 62-35 in three years at UMass, 25-11 this past season. He led the Minutemen to appearances in the NIT the last two seasons.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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