Tuesday , Mar , 15 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Lobos’ McKay gets three-year extension

=== Lobos’ McKay gets three-year extension ===

Albuquerque, NM (Sports Network) – University of New Mexico men’s head
basketball coach Ritchie McKay, who guided the Lobos to their first NCAA
Tournament in six seasons, was rewarded with a three-year contract extension
on Tuesday.

School athletic director Rudy Davalos announced the contract, which will keep
McKay with the university through the 2009-10 season. McKay is in the midst of
completing his third year of an original five-year deal.

“The extension is something that is great for my family and our staff,” said
McKay. “As I’ve said many times, it’s a privilege to be the head coach at the
University of New Mexico.”

Under McKay’s guidance, New Mexico captured the Mountain West Conference
tournament last week en route to a 26-6 record — the second-highest win total
in UNM’s 102-year history. The amazing turnaround comes one season after the
school went 14-14.

“President (Louis) Caldera and I met this morning to discuss extending
Ritchie’s contract,” said Davalos. “We both wanted to make the announcement
before the team left for the NCAA Tournament. Ritchie has done what we
expected him to do with our men’s basketball program. He has brought back
respectability to a program that had gone down before he got here.”

McKay is 50-38 with the Lobos and 133-127 in nine years as a college coach.
The 2004-05 season saw New Mexico win more games than the squad did in McKay’s
first two seasons combined.

The upstart Lobos, who have won nine straight games heading into the NCAA
Tournament to earn a No. 12 seed in the Syracuse Regional, will face fifth-
seeded Villanova Friday afternoon in Nashville.