Gottfried contract approved

TUSCALOOSA -- The University of Alabama Board of Trustees has approved an amended contract for Crimson Tide head men's basketball coach Mark Gottfried.

"I'm very pleased to have Mark here as our basketball coach and with the direction and success of our basketball program," said Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore. "Not only are we making the NCAA tournament, but our players are graduating.

"There's an aura of excitement around the program and attendance continues to be on the rise. We certainly expect great things in the future, especially with the enhancements planned for Coleman Coliseum. These things will help continue to keep Alabama among the top basketball programs."

Mark Gottfried was hired in March of 1998. In his five complete seasons as Alabama's head coach, the former Tide player has coached Alabama to four postseason appearances including back-to-back NCAA trips in 2003 and 2002 and the NIT championship game in 2001.

Alabama won the 2002 Southeastern Conference regular season championship and advanced to the SEC tournament's championship game and produced the SEC Player of the Year in Erwin Dudley, Coach of the Year in Gottfried and Freshman of the Year in Mo Williams.

This past season Alabama received its first No. 1 national ranking when it held the country's top ranked spot for two straight weeks in late December. Gottfried initiated the Tide Pride donor program for basketball which raises scholarship money for the university. Home attendance has continued to rise each year since he's been at Alabama.

He has graduated all of his senior players in the last four years and his Alabama players have won 15 Academic All-SEC awards since 1999. In 2001 and again in 2002 his basketball players won the Athletic Department's community service award as the team whose athletes volunteer the most time visiting schools and working charitable events within the community.

The contract is for five years and rolls over for one year with 19 wins this season (2004). A base salary of $150,000 plus talent fee for radio and television obligations makes it a yearly salary of $800,000 plus incentives.

"I'm appreciative of Mal Moore and Dr. (Robert E.) Witt," said Gottfried who, three years into his original contract was signed for a three year extension in 2001, making this newest extension go through the 2007-08 season. "I'm excited that this contract solidifies my career at Alabama. We plan to continually build on this winning, successful program."

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