Regents approve renewal for coaches
Last week University of Nevada men's basketball coach Mark Fox received a three-year extension on his contract that now runs through the 2013-14 season. The action taken by the Nevada Board of Regents was a contract extension only and does not include an adjustment to Fox's current compensation. It was erroneously reported in the Reno Gazette-Journal that the Regents had approved a salary increase for Fox.
The Regents approved the contract extension through 2014 for Fox, who has guided Nevada to an 81-18 in his three seasons as head coach. The Regents also approved a new five-year contract for softball coach Michelle Gardner, effective July 1.
Fox has guided the Wolf Pack to three straight Western Athletic Conference Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in his tenure at Nevada. He has won the WAC's Don Haskins Coach of the Year Award three straight seasons.
Athletics director Cary Groth said the contract extension given to Fox is one part of three steps being taken to continue the growth of the program.
"Coach made it clear to President (Milt) Glick and me that he wanted a term extension only," Groth said. "We also talked about providing more academic support for our student-athletes and the possibility of building a practice facility."
"The men's basketball program has enjoyed terrific success. However, I am equally impressed by Mark's commitment to the success of his players outside of basketball. When the topic of his contract came up, his first concern was for improved academic resources for student-athletes and his second was for improved practice facilities. He made it clear that he was not interested in a salary increase at this time," University President Milt Glick said.
Nevada recently hired Lori Friel as the director of academic services and next month will break ground on the Marguerite Peterson Academic Center. Groth said the department is looking at design options for a new practice facility.
"Cary Groth and President Glick have shown their commitment towards building on the success we have achieved," Fox said. "I am very happy for us to be working together to move this program forward. I am proud of what we have accomplished and excited for the future of Nevada basketball."
Fox's contract, which began last summer, calls for a base salary of $400,000 with extra compensation of $100,000 per year. He receives a $25,000 annual cost-of-living increase as well as the use of a courtesy car plus performance bonuses.
"Mark has been active in the community and supported many important causes. Our student-athletes, the athletics program and our community have all benefited from Mark's contributions," Glick added.
Gardner led the Wolf Pack a conference tournament championship and the school's first-ever berth in the NCAA Regionals in 2006. She took Nevada to the conference tournament's championship series this season.
The program also saw the opening of the on-campus Christina M. Hixson Softball Park and Nevada went 10-4 in its new home this past season.
"I believe we have truly set the foundation for Nevada softball with the success we have achieved and the opening of a beautiful new park," Gardner said. "I am very excited for the athletic department to show this kind of commitment to me and my staff so that we can continue to build this program.
Gardner's contact calls for a base salary of $72,000 and includes performance bonuses and a courtesy car.