University of Nevada head men’s basketball coach Eric Musselman has signed a new five-year contract to coach the Wolf Pack through the 2021-22 season. Musselman led the Wolf Pack to its first Mountain West regular season and tournament titles this past season. The MW tournament title earned Nevada its first NCAA tournament appearance in a decade.
The additional compensation for the new contract is being generated mainly from two sources, private donors and community support through tickets sales. A group of donors has signed multi-year pledges through the UNR Foundation to assist with the compensation.
The community support shown last season was evident as Nevada averaged a school record 8,923 fans and had six games of over 10,000 at Lawlor Events Center. A Lawlor record 11,841 watched Nevada defeat intrastate rival UNLV 104-77. A second sellout of 11,662 viewed the Pack’s 87-72 victory over Colorado State that clinched the Mountain West regular season title. The fan support has shown a growth in ticket revenue that has allowed the athletics department to use the additional funds as part of the compensation package.
“Coach Eric Musselman has revitalized our men’s basketball program in a rather historic manner since he was named head coach two years ago. We are now the defending Mountain West Conference champions, and we are fresh off our first NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament appearance since 2007,” Marc Johnson, President, University of Nevada, Reno, said. “But perhaps more than all of this, Coach Musselman and the student-athletes he has recruited to our University have re-connected the program with our community in a very special way. We are pleased that Coach Musselman will remain our men’s basketball coach for many years to come. We are equally excited about the direction Doug Knuth is taking our intercollegiate athletics program, and how this program reflects the core missions of our University,” Johnson added.
“Very simply, Coach Muss has completely changed the trajectory of our men’s basketball program,” Athletics Director Doug Knuth said. “We are thrilled with what we have accomplished over the past two seasons and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. To be sure, there is more work to be done. But with the continued support of an engaged community and our campus leadership, there are no limits to the potential of the Wolf Pack program.”
“My family and I could not be happier to continue to be part of the University of Nevada and the Northern Nevada community,” Musselman said. “We are very grateful to President Johnson and Doug Knuth for the commitment they have made to me and the Nevada basketball program.
“We are very proud of what our program has accomplished to this point, but even more excited for what we can accomplish in the years to come. I am confident that we have a bright future because of all the incredible people that are committed to this program, day in and day out.
“We have a talented, hard-working, and high character group of student-athletes. We have excellent assistant coaches, graduate assistants, student managers, and support staff. Our faculty and administration have been unbelievably supportive of our program. Most of all, we have amazing donors and fans fuel us with their incredible enthusiasm and unwavering support.
“Because of all of you, I am certain that we will take Nevada basketball to new heights and build a special environment for years to come. I bleed silver and blue and could not be more proud to be head coach of this program. Go Pack. “
After taking over a nine-win program, Musselman led his first Pack squad to a 15-win improvement and the College Basketball Invitational title. Nevada finished the year 24-14 and captured the first postseason title in school and Mountain West history. This past season the team captured the MW regular season and tournament titles posting a 28-7 mark.
Musselman was named the 2016 MW Coach of the Year by Bleacher Report and the 2017 District VIII Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association. He became just the second coach in school history to produce back-to-back 20 win seasons in his first two years.