Mizzou announces a contract extension for Dennis Gates
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Mizzou Athletics announced a contract extension for first-year men's basketball coach Dennis Gates on Friday night, just hours after MU advanced to the semifinal round of the SEC Tournament with a win over Tennessee.
The extension will run through the 2028-29 season. He will see an annual salary increase to $4 million in 2023-24, with a $100,000 increase each year through the life of the contract.
Gates has had a historic first season at the helm of Tiger basketball. In his first year, he's led Mizzou to 24 wins, the team's best SEC finish in program history, the Tigers' highest-ever seeding in the SEC Tournament and the group's first-ever SEC Tournament semifinal appearance.
"We are on an upward trajectory with Coach Gates leading our men's basketball program," said Desireé Reed-Francois, Director of Athletics at MU, said in a press release. "We have seen the program's immediate results through wins on the court, record-setting numbers in the classroom and creating enthusiasm in our community. Coach Gates has talked openly about his goals of winning championships and hanging banners in Mizzou Arena and I believe we are on that path under his leadership."
Gates also renewed the excitement amongst the fanbase. Mizzou has seven sellout games in his first season, which is the second-most in Mizzou Arena history. MU averaged about 11,377 fans per game, ranking fourth in the conference.
Out of the 24 coaches who have joined the conference since 2012-13, Gates' 24 wins were the most for a first-year head coach since John Calipari won 35 games in his first season Kentucky.
The Mizzou hoops season is not done yet. The Tigers will return to action on Saturday to meet No. 1-seeded Alabama in the SEC Tournament Semifinals. The game will tip off at 12 p.m. CT at Bridgestone Arena.