Tuesday , Mar , 29 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Bennett blessed at Saint Mary’s with contract extension

Moraga, CA (Sports Network) – Saint Mary’s announced Tuesday a six-year
contract extension for men’s basketball coach Randy Bennett. The new agreement
will have Bennett under contract at Saint Mary’s through the 2010-11 season.
Bennett’s previous contract was good through the 2007-08 campaign.

“Signing Randy to a long-term contract comes at an exciting time for Saint
Mary’s,” said athletic director Carl Clapp. “Randy has done an outstanding job
leading our men’s basketball program over the past four years, and he is very
deserving of this new contract.”

Bennett and the Gaels just finished one of the most impressive seasons in
Saint Mary’s basketball history. The Gaels earned an at-large bid into the
NCAA Tournament, marking the first tournament appearance in eight years and
just the fourth in the 94 years of the program. Bennett guided the Gaels to a
25-9 record in 2004-05, matching a school record for wins in a season.

“I’m really excited about the direction of the program and I look forward to
the upcoming challenges,” said Bennett. “Our goal remains making Saint Mary’s
a program that can compete for WCC championships and get into the NCAA

Bennett was hired on April 10, 2001 and took over a program that was 2-27 in
2000-01 and ranked 315th in the college RPI. In four years, Bennett has
reversed the Gaels’ fortunes, moving SMC from the bottom of the collegiate
ranks to a No. 30 RPI, an improvement of 285 places.

Over the last three years, Bennett has guided the team to nearly 20 wins per
season, while posting a .621 winning percentage over that time, including a
.500 or better record each year. Since joining the WCC in 1952, Bennett is
just the third coach to lead SMC to a .500 or better record three straight