September 23, 2013

Men's Basketball's Keith Dambrot Receives One-Year Contract Extension

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AKRON, Ohio – Following a 26-win season, the program's fourth NCAA Tournament berth and cracking the Top-25 for the first time in school history, University of Akron head men's basketball coach Keith Dambrot has received a one-year contract extension, President Dr. Luis M. Proenza and Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill announced Monday. The extension is finalized and pending approval from the UA Board of Trustees.

Dambrot, who signed a ten-year contract in July 2012, has compiled a 210-94 (107-41 in Mid-American Conference play) record in nine seasons at the helm of the Zips' program and is now under contract through the 2022-23 season. His ten-year, fixed-year contract is one of the longest in the nation among college coaches in any sport.

"There's few coaches lucky enough to have the opportunity to coach at a university they played for, where their mother was a professor and where their children attend school," Dambrot said. "The progress we have made as a program and the commitment from The University and the community make this one of the premier jobs in the nation. I want to thank Dr. Proenza, the Board of Trustees and Tom for all they have done for us."

Akron finished the 2012-13 campaign with a 26-7 record, tying the program mark for wins in a season. The Zips won a second-straight MAC regular season title and won the MAC Tournament for a third time in five seasons, earning the program's fourth NCAA Tournament bid (1986, 2009, 2011, 2013). UA posted the nation's longest winning streak last season (19 games) and earned its first national ranking, the No. 24 spot in the Feb. 25 USA TODAY Coaches Poll. The Zips also earned a program-best 43 points in the Feb. 25 AP poll, falling 11 votes shy of the Top-25.

Akron's eighth-straight 22-win season put the Zips in rare company as one of just six Division I teams to record at least 22 wins per year during that stretch (Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Ohio State and Pittsburgh). UA's 210 wins under Dambrot are the most by any team in the MAC and are tied for 27th-most nationally over the past nine seasons.

For his efforts in 2012-13, Dambrot was named MAC Coach of the Year and the Red Auerbach Coach of the Year. He was also named a finalist for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award and the Hugh Durham Award, which recognizes the nation's top mid-major coach.

During Dambrot's tenure, Akron has posted a 119-18 record at James A. Rhodes Arena (.869), including a 64-10 record in league play. Dambrot ranks second in school history in wins (210) and ranks fourth in MAC history with a .642 win percentage while coaching in the league (230-128 overall; 210-94 Akron, 20-34 Central Michigan), fourth in overall wins (210), fifth in league games winning percentage (.643, 117-66) and seventh in conference wins (117).

The Zips have appeared in the postseason seven times under Dambrot, including three NCAA Tournament appearances (2009, 2011, 2013), three NIT appearances (2006, 2008, 2012) and the 2010 CBI.

An Akron native and two-time alumnus of the University, Dambrot served as an assistant coach on the UA basketball staff for the three seasons prior to his current post. Before that he spent three seasons at Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, leading the Irish to a 69-10 record and two state championships thanks to the help of three-time NBA MVP and Miami Heat star LeBron James.

Dambrot's late mother, Faye, was a trend-setting professor at the University who taught in the psychology department and was instrumental in forming the Women's Studies Program.