Less than a week after the team’s NCAA tournament victory, UAB officials have taken a step towards ensuring that head coach Jerod Haase remains the leader of the basketball program for the foreseeable future.
Wednesday afternoon it was announced that the two sides have come to an agreement on a six-year contract extension that will keep Haase in Birmingham valued at $1 million per season. According to the school Haase’s prior contract stipulated that he be paid $625,000 per season including incentives.
The contract still needs to be approved by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees Compensation Committee, which will meet later this week.
The move to ensure that Haase remains is an important one for the UAB athletic department, which has experienced its fair share of turmoil in recent months. Three sports, most notably football, were officially cut in November in a move that was a highly controversial one. During the basketball team’s upset victory over No. 3 Iowa State last week, some fans in attendance in Louisville chanted for the firing of school president Ray L. Watts.
In the release announcing Haase’s extension, the school revealed that it also has plans of upgrading the facilities for both basketball teams.
“Long-term stability for me and my staff is crucial and represents an important step in moving the program forward,” Haase said in the release. “Our recruits and their families can rest assured that I will be at UAB for the long-term future. Today’s commitment by the administration is a strong statement that UAB wants to be great in basketball.
“Planned future upgrades in travel, facilities and budgets will be an integral part of sustaining UAB basketball at an elite level.”
UAB finished fourth in Conference USA before winning the league’s automatic bid, and a number of their key contributors will be back next season. The Blazers’ top six scorers from this season, led by guard Robert Brown, have eligibility remaining with three (Chris Cokley, William Lee and Nick Norton) being freshmen.