Coach Jim Larranaga Signs Contract Extension

Posted: April 2, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Jim Larranaga
Jim Larranaga
Mason Athletics photo

Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics Tom O’Connor announced Wednesday that men’s basketball head coach Jim Larranaga has signed a three-year contract extension at Mason. Larranaga is now signed through the 2014-15 season.

“Jim is a terrific ambassador for George Mason University,” O’Connor said. “Obviously with the 2006 run to the Final Four, our basketball program and the university have garnered a lot of national attention. On top of that, he is a tremendous basketball coach, he’s our coach, and I’m proud to say that he will continue to be our coach for the next seven years.”

“I’ve made it clear over the years that my family and I have loved it here at George Mason,” Larranaga said. “I feel very fortunate to work under the great leadership of President Merten and Tom O’Connor. I feel very connected to both the George Mason and the greater Fairfax County communities. We have enjoyed their great support, and it continues to grow. I’ve said before that I hope to retire here at George Mason, and this contract extension allows me to do just that.”

Larranaga, 58, is Mason’s all-time leader in wins with a 207-131 record at the helm of the Patriots. He has a career record of 404-300, and he is the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) all-time winningest coach with a 139-74 mark in conference games.

When Larranaga took over as head coach prior to the 1997-98 season, the Patriots had suffered through seven straight losing seasons. The Patriots have since enjoyed their most successful 10-year span. They have had 10 straight winning seasons, a school record. They have had 198 wins over those 10 years, also a school record for a 10-year period.

Mason leads the CAA in wins, CAA wins, overall winning percentage, CAA winning percentage and postseason appearances over that time span.

Under Larranaga, Mason has been to the postseason six times. In 1999, Larranaga’s second season, he led Mason to its second CAA title and first in 10 years. It was Mason’s third-ever trip to the postseason and he was named CAA, Virginia and NABC District 4 Coach of the Year.

The Patriots returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2001 and had its first-ever back-to-back postseason trips when Mason went to the NIT in 2002. In 2004, Mason again went to the NIT, setting a then-school record with 23 wins.

In 2006, Mason earned the school’s first-ever at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament and the first for a CAA school in 20 years. Mason captured the imagination of the college basketball universe that March when Mason made a historic run to the Final Four.

Larranaga was named Claire Bee Coach of the Year, and Mason reached the national rankings for the first time in school history, finishing no. 8 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Patriots finished the season 27-8, still a school record for wins.

This past season, Larranaga led Mason to a 23-11 mark and the school’s fourth CAA title. The Patriots lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, falling to fifth-seeded Notre Dame in Denver, Colo.

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