Pitino inks contract extension at New Mexico

University of New Mexico Vice President/Director of Athletics Eddie Nuñez announced Tuesday that Lobo men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino has received a contract extension, running through the 2028-29 season.

“We are excited to have Richard Pitino continue to lead our men’s basketball program,” said Nuñez. “His leadership has guided our program to greater success in each of his first three seasons, highlighted by last season’s Mountain West Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. He has also been a tremendous representative of our university and ambassador of Lobo athletics throughout the community. Our recent on-court success has produced increased revenue, and we believe the best way to continue to foster that growth is to reinvest in the program. We appreciate President Garnett Stokes and our board of regents for their continued support of Lobo Basketball and all Lobo athletics at a championship level.

Pitino is entering his fourth season as coach of New Mexico, and his 13th overall as a Division I head coach. In each of his first three seasons in Albuquerque, the Lobos have shown great improvement. The Lobos are coming off a 2023-24 season that saw them become the first team to ever win the Mountain West Tournament by winning four games, which produced UNM’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in a decade. New Mexico ended the 2023-24 season with a NET ranking of 22, an improvement of 281 spots from the No. 303 ranking the day Pitino was hired.

“I’m truly grateful for the continued support and belief that President Stokes, Eddie, our board of regents and of course our amazing fan base has shown me and my family over the last three years,” said Pitino. “We did some great things this year and I look forward to building off that success. Our amazing fans deserve a winner and I will work tirelessly to deliver them a team they can be proud of.”

The success of the Lobos under Pitino’s leadership has been evident in the excitement of the New Mexico fanbase. The Pit averaged over 13,000 fans per game last season, ranking 23rd nationally and UNM’s highest average since 2014-15. New Mexico has averaged over 14,000 fans for Mountain West games in each of the past two seasons, while last season’s victory over San Diego State on Jan. 13 had a crowd of 15,437, the largest at The Pit since the 2008-09 season.

Under the terms of the extension, Pitino will make $1.2 million next season and the figure will rise to $1.4 million in the final year of the deal in 2028-29.


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