<
>

Mason gets four-year extension at Minnesota

Minnesota has reached an agreement on the key terms of a four-year contract extension with football coach Glen Mason, the university announced late Saturday night.

The extension will last through 2010 and pay Mason an average of $1.65 million per season. He will also be eligible for up to $750,000 in incentive bonuses tied to on-the-field performance and graduation rates.

"We are extremely happy to have an agreement on the key terms of the contract," Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi said in a prepared statement. "I have said all along that we were committed to keeping coach Mason at the University of Minnesota and today is certainly an indication of that desire."

Mason and university administrators made an oral commitment to reach an extention after Friday's Music City Bowl, which Minnesota lost to Virginia.

Minnesota did not want Mason to enter his final season without an extension and said it would not renew his assistant coaches' contracts without it. The assistant coaches' contracts were set to expire on Saturday night and would automatically roll over.

Mason came to Minnesota in 1997 after turning around the Kansas program. He completed his ninth season at Minnesota with the Gophers' fourth consecutive bowl appearance and sixth in seven years, the most bowl appearances under one head coach in school history.

Minnesota's 32 wins over the last four seasons are the best four-year performance by the Gophers since 1902-05.