Larranaga signs extension

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA (TICKER) —George Mason coach Jim Larranaga signed a three-year contract extension Wednesday that will keep him under contract at the school through the 2014-15 season.

The move came after Larranaga rejected an offer from Providence, which is looking to a fill a vacancy created by the firing of Tim Welsh.

“I’ve made it clear over the years that my family and I love it here at George Mason,” Larranaga said. “I’ve said it before that I hope to retire here at George Mason, and this contract extension allows me to do that.”

Larranaga, 58, recently completed his 11th season at George Mason, where he has registered a 207-131 record, including a storybook run to the Final Four two years ago.

“Jim Larranaga is a terrific ambassador for George Mason University,” Patriots athletic director Tom O’Connor said. “Obviously, with the run to the 2006 Final Four, our basketball program and the university have garnered a lot of attention.”

Larranaga is the winningest coach in the history of the Colonial Athletic Association with a 139-74 mark in league play and has an overall record of 404-300.

Under Larranaga, the Patriots have posted 10 straight winning seasons and have been to the postseason six times. This season, they lost to Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Providence athletic director Bob Driscoll acknowledged Wednesday that the school offered the job to Larranaga, although he did not specify what the terms were.

“We offered him a substantial package, but he was too comfortable in his current situation and opted to stay at George Mason,” Driscoll said.

Providence has struggled to remain competitive in the Big East Conference in recent years, and Welsh was fired last month after 10 seasons at the school.

Welsh posted a 145-126 record at Providence, including a 15-16 mark this season. It was the Friars’ third losing record in four years.

During Welsh’s tenure, Providence did not win an NCAA Tournament game and won only one contest in the Big East tournament.

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Updated Wednesday, Apr 2, 2008