Five-year extension for Dayton coach
MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian Gregory came to Dayton from Michigan State with high hopes of building the mid-major program into a regular guest at the NCAA tournament.
On the eve of the 11th-seeded Flyers' opening-round game against No. 6-seeded West Virginia, Gregory got a vote of confidence from Dayton's administration that he's on the right track.
Gregory said Thursday he has agreed to a five-year contract extension to stay with the Flyers through the 2017-18 season.
"I'm just really pleased that the administration feels that, with the way the program is moving forward, that the best thing for the program would be to extend my contract out another five years," Gregory said. "I'm really excited about it. I've said all along this is the place I wanted to be. It's the perfect fit for me."
After narrowly missing out on an NCAA tournament berth a year ago, Gregory got Dayton (26-7) over the hump this season and into the Midwest Regional. The Flyers face the Mountaineers in the first round Friday.
The 42-year-old coach is 124-67 in six seasons since being hired off coach Tom Izzo's staff at Michigan State. This is the second NCAA tournament appearance for Dayton under his watch. He has had only one losing season, in 2005-06, and has won at least 61 percent of his games every other year.
In the last two years, the Flyers have won 49 games, their highest two-year total in more than 50 years. This season, he took a team with only one senior, forward Charles Little, to a second-place finish in the Atlantic-10 and the school's first NCAA tournament bid since his first year in 2004.
"To make that type of commitment means a lot to me as a coach," Gregory said, "because I do think the progress that we're making, with that commitment and that continuity, we're going to be able to continue to move forward. That's really important in the program."
Gregory said he'll meet with the administration when the season is over to iron out the details of the deal.
"I'm just really pleased that they feel confident with what we're doing," he said. "It's great for me. It's great for our program, and I couldn't be happier."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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