Louisville extends Pitino's contract

The University of Louisville gave Rick Pitino a six year contract extension Thursday that will make him the Cardinals basketball coach through 2013.

Pitino, who will enter his seventh season at U of L next year, has taken Louisville to four NCAA Tournaments, including the 2005 Final Four.

The Cardinals figure to enter the 2007-08 season ranked in the Top 5 nationally after finishing 24-10 last season. Four starters return for Pitino next season, including 7 of the teams top 8 scorers.

"Rick has meant so much not only to our men's basketball program, but to this community," said U of L Vice President and Director of Athletics Tom Jurich. "He has our team primed for another great run next season and I'm sure we will keep that going in years to follow. He obviously has Hall of Fame credentials and there's no one I would rather have as our coach. I'm thrilled that we can count on him guiding our men's basketball program for at least the next six years."

Thursday's news should also aid Pitino's efforts to land a Top 5 recruiting class in 2008. Pitino and his staff have been active on the recruiting trail this spring and appear on their way to landing an impressive haul next fall.

In six seasons at U of L, Pitino owns a 142-58 record. Pitino will earn $2.5 million in the final three years of the contract.

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