UMass Signs Ford To Contract Extension Through 2014-15
April 10, 2007
AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts Director of Athletics John McCutcheon announced that the university and men's basketball head coach Travis Ford have agreed to a five-year contract extension that will run through the 2014-15 season. The announcement was made by McCutcheon at the team's year-end basketball banquet on Tuesday at the UMass Campus Center. The 37-year old Ford, who had a five-year contract when he was hired on March 25, 2005, had three years remaining on his original contract.
"We are thrilled that Travis has made a commitment to UMass basketball," said McCutcheon. "This past season was very exciting for our university and our fans. Travis has brought Minuteman basketball back to national recognition with his solid leadership. This extension shows that we are pleased with where UMass basketball is headed under Travis' guidance."
Ford led UMass to its best season in 11 years in 2006-07 as the Minutemen posted a 24-9 record, the fifth-most wins in school history. UMass captured a share of the 2007 Atlantic 10 Regular-Season Championship, for its first title since 1996. The Minutemen advanced to national postseason for the first time since 2000, advancing to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament including a thrilling 89-87 overtime win over Alabama on ESPN in the first round.
"My family and I have been welcomed with open arms by the university and New England communities," said Ford. "I love UMass and my family does as well. I am excited to know that UMass is committed to building the men's basketball program back to one of the best in the East and that I will have the chance to be at the helm for many years to come."
Ford finished his 10th season as a head coach in 2006-07 and second at UMass. He has a 165-135 overall record in 300 career game (.550 win percentage) including a stellar 60.7 win percentage at UMass with a 37-24 record in two years. His win percentage is already the fifth-best in UMass basketball history.
Ford has returned the energy and enthusiasm to the Mullins Center with winning ways. UMass forward Stephane Lasme was named an AP Honorable Mention All-American, the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year as he became just the third player in NCAA history with four triple-doubles in a season. Center Rashaun Freeman earned his third straight Atlantic 10 First-Team honor, the first player to do that since Jameer Nelson at Saint Joseph's (2001-04). UMass averaged close to 6,000 fans per game, its highest crowd total since 1998.
Ford emerged as one of the brightest, energetic and personable coaches in the nation during his five-year stint at Eastern Kentucky University from 2000-05. A decorated player at the University of Kentucky, Ford earned numerous accolades as the Wildcats' point guard from 1991-94. In his first head coaching job, he led NAIA school Campbellsville University to a 67-31 record from 1997-2000 leading the Tigers to a National Tournament appearance in his final season.
At Eastern Kentucky, Ford guided the Colonels to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in more than 25 years as well as their first winning season (22-9 in 2004-05) in 11 years. Ford was riding a seven-game winning steak -- Eastern Kentucky's longest such streak in 40 years -- prior to losing to his alma mater, Kentucky, in the 2005 NCAA First Round, 72-64. He led the Colonels to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship, their first since 1979. Ford, led EKU out of doldrums as they were a combined 9-44 in the previous two seasons before his arrival. His first two teams won seven games, but his victory total rose each year to 11, then 14 and finally a school-record 22 in 2004-05. In five seasons in Richmond, he led the Colonels to a 61-80 record.
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