University of North Florida head basketball coach Matthew Driscoll agreed in principle to a four-year contract extension as announced by UNF Athletic Director Lee Moon. The deal extends Driscoll from the end of his current contract in May of 2018 through May of 2022.
In his seventh season at the helm of the UNF program, Driscoll and the Ospreys are coming off the most successful season in program history. North Florida finished with a school record 23-12 overall record last year including a 12-2 mark in the Atlantic Sun Conference. North Florida captured both the Atlantic Sun regular season and tournament championships, and earned the program’s first appearance in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. UNF returns four starters and seven of its top nine players from last year’s squad.
“Coach Driscoll is very deserving of this contract extension and I am thrilled to have him continue leading our basketball program for many more seasons,” said Moon. “He has developed a competitive climate and a family atmosphere, while guiding the team to championship levels of success. While I am proud of the program’s accomplishments on the court, their successes in the classroom and the way they represent the department and University are the things that make me most proud. This extension is a reflection on his dedication and commitment to UNF as well as an investment in continuing our goal of being a championship caliber basketball program year in and year out. ”
UNF has boasted double digit win totals every season under his direction, including a 39-28 record over the past two years. The 2014-15 Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year and NABC District 3 Co-Coach of the Year, Driscoll enters this season with 96 victories at UNF and owns the highest winning percentage in the program’s history for men’s basketball.
Under his guidance, North Florida players have earned 24 weekly Atlantic Sun accolades including 14 Player of the Week honors. UNF has claimed six All-Atlantic Sun selections including a trio of first-team honorees. Three Ospreys have been named to the A-Sun All-Freshman team during his tenure while five garnered A-Sun All-Tournament honors highlighted by Demarcus Daniels being named Tournament MVP last year. Daniels was also named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, while Dallas Moore earned Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year honors in 2014.
In the classroom, 30 players have earned A-Sun Academic Honor Roll recognition in addition to a pair of A-Sun All-Academic team for basketball selections. The team has consistently improved its cumulative GPA capped by this year’s distinction of NABC Academic Excellence Award, for having a cumulative GPA of over 3.0.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that God provided for me at UNF six years ago,” said Driscoll. “My family – Carrie, Chase and Paxton – have given me unconditional love throughout my career allowing me to be driven toward my dream. This is a truly humbling event. I am indebted to our staff, who have performed at 100 percent maximum effort and provided daily insight allowing our program to become the standard at this level. This is also not possible without every player we’ve recruited being all in and understanding that excellence on and off the court is only reached by becoming comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to thank President Delaney, the Board of Trustees and Coach Moon for embracing the importance of athletics as the front porch of our institution from an overall viewpoint. This further demonstrates that at UNF there is ‘No one like you, No place like this’.”
Since his arrival on the UNF campus in the spring of 2009, Driscoll has not only energized the basketball program but also the Osprey fan base especially the student body. Attendance has increased consistently for North Florida games resulting in the team posting record setting win totals in UNF Arena. Last season, UNF finished with a 12-2 home record marking the most home victories in the Division I era and included a program best seven-game home win streak. Additionally last season, the team’s average home attendance was a program best 2,725 per game, and UNF hosted three of the top four largest crowds in UNF Arena history highlighted by the record mark of 6,155 for the Atlantic Sun Championship game.
Photo Courtesy: North Florida Athletics