Shyatt Remains on Board

Athletic Director Bobby Robinson announced Friday afternoon that head men's basketball coach Larry Shyatt would not only retain his job next season, he would also be given a multi-year contract extension.

Clemson Athletic Director Bobby Robinson and Senior Associate Athletic Director Bill D'Andrea have announced that Larry Shyatt has agreed to a contract extension. The terms of the agreement run through the 2004-05 season. This is a two-year extension of his previous contract.

Shyatt came to Clemson prior to the 1998-99 season. He took the Tigers to the finals of the NIT in his first year and finished the year with 20 victories, the first coach in Clemson history to win 20 games in his first year. The Tigers posted a 13-17 record this past season, but the team showed improvement over the previous year in terms of overall victories, ACC victories, wins over ranked teams and wins away from home.

"We want to give Coach Shyatt every opportunity to finish what he has started," said Athletic Director Bobby Robinson. "When he came to Clemson in 1998 we made a five-year commitment. He has worked hard in every aspect of the job to build a program for success in the long term.

"We have not been satisfied with the won-loss record, but, with the players we have returning and the players we have signed for next year, we feel we will make a strong improvement in terms of wins and losses next season and in the future. We are optimistic in Coach Shyatt's ability to lead this program to postseason play in the future.

"Coach Shyatt wants to be at Clemson. He has put in many hours to make it a success. We want him to realize the fruits of his labor. He has embraced the entire Clemson community since he has been here as an assistant and a head coach. Few coaches have shown more support for the other athletic programs and the university in general. He has a strong work ethic and is motivated to make this a basketball program the Clemson community can view with pride."

The Tigers return four starters, one of just two ACC teams that return that many starters for the 2002-03 season. The ACC loses at least nine of its top 11 scorers to graduation.

Clemson returns two of the top three sophomore scorers in the ACC in Tony Stockman and Chris Hobbs, plus rising senior point guard Edward Scott, who was a third-team All-ACC selection last year. He ranked third in the nation in assists heading into NCAA Tournament play. Ray Henderson is the fourth returning starter from last season. He ranked second in the ACC in rebounding with an 8.8 figure.

"I am pleased to receive this contract extension," said Shyatt. "I am the first to say we need to improve in terms of wins and losses. But, the ground work has been laid. With four starters returning and our top four post players back, I feel we will show considerable improvement next season. I have never been more optimistic about the future of this program.

"I appreciate the commitment and loyalty President Barker, Bobby Robinson and Bill D'Andrea have shown. I will continue to do whatever it takes to bring this program to the next level."

Shyatt's base salary is $132,600 per year for the life of the contract. To buy out the contract in 2002 the University would pay Shyatt $200,000. Clemson would pay Shyatt $180,000 to buy out the contract at the end of the 2002-03 season, and $160,000 to buy out the contract at the end of 2003-04.

Coach Shyatt on the decision
"We are very pleased, I think everybody knows how we feel about our loyality here. I embraced the decision, and I hope that our players and our staff do to."

"We would love to improve in that final area, we need to win more, and continually improve our recruiting."

"You make a job ever so much more easier by virtue of something like this (a contract extension)."

"Oregon, N.C. State, and Pittsburgh are programs that I've shown our players and our staff as to how quickly a team can improve."

"We've got four interior players coming back next year, and I'm excited about our players returning. We have three talented guards coming back, of which, two are double digit performers. We definitely need improvement at the defensive end."

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