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#pounditTuesday, July 5, 2022

UCLA makes big commitment to coach Mick Cronin ahead of tournament opener

Mick Cronin in a suit

Mick Cronin will not have to worry about his job security ahead of this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Before UCLA’s Round of 64 game against Akron on Thursday, the school announced that they had signed Cronin, their head basketball coach, to a new contract extension. The extension is for six years, keeping Cronin in Westwood through the 2027-28 season.

Pete Thamel of ESPN adds that Cronin’s deal is expected to make him the highest-paid coach in the Pac-12 Conference and one of the top 15 highest-paid coaches in the country.

The extension is a well-deserved one for Cronin, who only recently turned 50. He was hired as UCLA’s coach in 2019, replacing the fired Steve Alford. Since then, UCLA has gone 66-29 (.695). The Bruins also made a surprise Final Four appearance last season, which was their first in over a decade.

Additionally, Cronin has been an excellent recruiter, first reeling in stars like Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez Jr. then complementing them this season with players like transfer Myles Johnson and freshman Peyton Watson.

UCLA was the No. 2-ranked team in the country to start this year and went 25-7 to finish 11th in the final AP poll and second in the Pac-12, ultimately earning a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. While Cronin has had his fair share of challenges this season, he has navigated them with poise and tact. Now he has earned himself another six years as UCLA’s head coach.

Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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