Hill to stay at Fresno State, gets extension to '10

Updated: January 18, 2006, 2:29 PM ET
Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. -- Fresno State coach Pat Hill agreed to a contract extension through 2010 on Wednesday after interviewing for several NFL head coaching positions this month.

Hill is 72-43 in nine seasons at Fresno State, leading the Bulldogs to seven straight postseason appearances and a national reputation. But after finishing last season with four straight losses, Hill -- a former assistant to Bill Belichick in Cleveland -- interviewed with Houston and St. Louis, and later spoke to several other teams about NFL jobs.

"It was a great process and learning experience," Hill said. "I think it speaks volumes about the quality of our program at Fresno State. With the schemes we run and type of young men who come through our program, it's a great testament to our overall program that several NFL teams had a genuine interest."

The Bulldogs were 8-1 and ranked No. 16 in November before a 50-42 loss to top-ranked USC, which began a tailspin ending in an upset loss to Tulsa in the Liberty Bowl.

Fresno State returns 18 starters in 2006, including four all-Western Athletic Conference players, but loses quarterback Paul Pinegar, running backs Wendell Mathis and Bryson Sumlin and defensive end Garrett McIntyre, the WAC's defensive player of the year.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press