Coach Larranaga Signs Extension to Stay at Mason through 2011-12

Posted: April 27, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Jim Larranaga
Jim Larranaga
Mason Athletics photo

George Mason University Director of Athletics Tom O’Connor announced that men’s basketball head coach Jim Larranaga signed a contract extension that will keep him at the university through the 2011-12 season.

This past season, Larranaga led the Patriots to the best season in school history by any measure. The Patriots made their first-ever trip to the NCAA Final Four. It was also the first time any Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) school made it to the Final Four.

Mason set a school record with 27 wins, tied a CAA record with 15 CAA regular-season wins and finished the season ranked eighth in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. That’s the highest-ever ranking for Mason and for any CAA school. The Patriots also downed a pair of top-10 teams, no. 10 University of North Carolina and no. 2 University of Connecticut. Mason’s win over UConn matched the highest-ranked team any CAA school has defeated.

“I am very excited and proud of our accomplishments this season and over the past eight years,” says Larranaga. “This year’s run to the Final Four was a culmination of a lot of hard work by many people, especially my staff and our players.

“However, it could not have been achieved without the great support of our George Mason administration. This contract extension is a clear indication of their support. This past season was not an end, but it is the beginning of more great things to come. Our returning players have already begun to prepare for next season and are confident they can create more great memories for our Mason Nation.”

Larranaga is Mason’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 166-105. His winning percentage of .613 is also a school record. This past season, Larranaga became the CAA’s all-time winningest coach.

Larranaga is currently 112-58 in CAA games (regular season and tournament). He has led the Patriots to 10 or more CAA wins in each of the past eight years, and Mason has had a winning record in each of its past eight seasons. Mason is one of just nine schools in the country to have won 10 or more conference games each of the past eight years. The Patriots have won at least 16 games each of those years and 19 or more games in five of those eight seasons. Mason has also made five trips to the postseason in the past eight campaigns.

“For the past nine years, Jim Larranaga has embodied everything a school could want in its men’s basketball coach,” says O’Connor. “Over the final six weeks of this season, those traits and characteristics were on display for the entire nation to see. We couldn’t be more thrilled that he was an ambassador for our university on that stage and that he will continue to be a prominent member of the university’s athletics department for the next six years.”

Next year will be the 10th season for Larranaga as George Mason head coach, tying him with John Linn for most seasons as a Patriot head coach. Linn coached the Patriots from 1970-1980, taking the team from NAIA to NCAA Division I. Larranaga has overseen an equally difficult transition, as Mason went from a school that had eight straight losing seasons to its current run of success.

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