After flirting with Pac-12 program, Musselman withdraws name from consideration, inks undisclosed extension at Nevada
He showed up. He took his shirt off. He stayed – for now.
Nevada second-year basketball coach Eric Musselman pulled his name from consideration for the job at Cal, reportedly Tuesday night, and alerted the Pac-12 Bay Area program of his decision Wednesday morning.
The news capped a particularly unnerving 48 hours for Wolf Pack fans as reports surfaced of Musselman growing into the runaway favorite to fill the Golden Bear’s vacancy. Gary Parris of CBS Sports reported that Musselman and Nevada almost immediately started working on a new deal.
Eric Musselman met with Cal officials twice but has decided to remain at Nevada, a source told @CBSSports. Working on a new deal now.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) March 22, 2017
The two sides agreed to terms, which were not disclosed, Wednesday evening.
“My family and I love Northern Nevada and the Wolf Pack community,” Musselman said in a release from the school. “I love the bond we have created as a team and I’m extremely excited about the future of Wolf Pack basketball.”
Musselman just finished his second season on a five-year contract that pays $400,000 annually. The speculative new contract is expected to be much more lucrative, upwards of twice his current salary. It will likely be the biggest pay day ever for a Nevada coach.
Under Musselman’s direction, Nevada put together its best back-to-back seasons since the program went to four-straight NCAA Tournaments from 2004-07.
Musselman owns a career record at Nevada of 52-21. He took over a program that went 9-22 in 2014-15 and hadn’t pieced together a winning season since 2011-12. Last year’s team won the school’s first ever Mountain West Tournament game before going on to claim the CBI title – Nevada’s first ever national postseason championship.
This year, Nevada rattled off 28 wins (tied for the second most in Nevada history), won its first ever MW regular-season and tournament titles, and broke a decade-long drought from the NCAA Tournament.
His passionate celebrations that involve removing his shirt, following the CBI title and the home win over Colorado State to clinch the MW regular-season title, have helped him earn the affection of the Nevada fan base. His connection with the community should not be overlooked in his decision to stay in Reno. The 2016-17 season was the most attended in program history. Nevada averaged 8,923 spectators per home game this year, which ranked fourth in the MW behind SDSU, New Mexico and UNLV.
At Cal, he would have replaced Cuonzo Martin who left to take over at Missouri. Martin went 62-39 in three season for the Golden Bears. Cal has qualified for five of the last nine NCAA Tournaments, missing the dance this year.
Musselman’s name was also reportedly tied to openings at LSU (where he was the associate head coach for a season before taking the Nevada job) and Washington, but both vacancies were filled earlier this week.