Kent Reaches Agreement on New Pact

EUGENE – University of Oregon Director of Athletics Pat Kilkenny and Head Basketball Coach Ernie Kent have agreed on terms for a new contract that will not only reward the Ducks' longtime mentor for past accomplishments but help ensure the stability of the program in the future.

The terms of the new agreement, which extends the provision of a rollover clause in previous deals and runs through the 2012-13 season, went into effect July 1, 2008 and takes the place of all pacts previously in place or announced.

The agreement not only will increase Kent's annual minimum guaranteed salary from $1 million to $1,060,000 but would provide over $347,000 in additional salary and benefits for his program's staff. That will include increased compensation for assistant coaches Mark Hudson, Kenny Payne and Yasir Rosemond, as well as director of operations Josh Jamieson. The Ducks also will hire a strength and conditioning coach who will be assigned to the men's basketball program. In addition, the agreement calls for Kent's buyout from the university to be increased from $1 million to $1.15 million.

Kilkenny emphasized the additional investment in the Ducks' men's basketball staff not only reflected the support that the university and its constituents has for the direction of the program, but also is indicative of the commitment that Kent has placed to his alma mater.

"Ernie's acknowledgment of the role that his staff has played in the program's success reached the point that he was willing to deflect substantial personal gain to aid the continued growth of the program," Kilkenny said. "That speaks a lot not only for the commitment he has for his players and staff but also the university and this community."

Kent (211-134 Oregon head coaching record), whose active Oregon tenure has been surpassed in length by only seven other current Division I coaches representing BCS schools (Jim Boeheim, Mike Krzyzewski, Lute Olson, Jim Calhoun, Gary Williams, Tom Izzo and Billy Donovan), remains one win shy of equaling Hall-of-Fame coach Howard Hobson (1935-44) as the winningest men's basketball coach in school history.

"I am thrilled and humbled to have the support shown by President (Dave) Frohnmayer and Pat Kilkenny," Kent said. "The university and its supporters have demonstrated a substantial investment in the continued success of the basketball program at the University of Oregon through the building of a new arena and I felt it was important as a graduate of this great institution that I demonstrate that same commitment in return.

"I am honored to have been the head basketball coach at the University of Oregon for the last 11 years," Kent added. "It is a place I remain truly passionate about. But our work here has just started. I want to build on the momentum and excitement that has been generated from our recent success and has translated into a great incoming recruiting class, as well as a new arena on the horizon, and take this program to the next level."

Kent has guided the Ducks to five of their 10 NCAA tournament appearances in history of the program, including two Elite Eight appearances, the 2002 Pacific-10 Conference regular-season championship and two conference tournament titles, while his program has accumulated the top Academic Progress Rate in the Pac-10 three of the last four years.

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