Just days ahead of the Sun Belt tournament, UT Arlington and coach Scott Cross have agreed to a four-year contract extension that will keep him in charge of the men’s basketball program through 2019-20.
Cross, UTA’s all-time winningest coach, delivered the second-best season in program history with 22 wins in his contract year with a conference tournament and postseason still to come.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed yet, but Cross said his only focus was the length and security of the deal rather than the salary.
“I’m not motivated by money,” Cross said. “I’m motivated by doing something that’s never been done before. I’m motivated by winning championships.”
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Cross was making $200,000 per year during his last contract that ran from 2012-16, and it’s unclear if his new extension will increase that number.
UTA has gone 175-137 during his 10-year run as head coach. He’s the only coach to ever post a career winning record at the program that had fledgling success before he took over in 2006. He’s the only coach to ever guide the Mavericks to the NCAA Tournament.
More important for the program, the extension allows UTA to maintain the momentum of a successful season fueled by a young core of talent. They’re on track to return all five starters and 11 lettermen next season, including Kevin Hervey and Erick Neal.
They should be a favorite to win the Sun Belt next season, which Cross said was a motivating factor for him when he secured the extension.
This is the second contract extension he’s worked out with UTA athletic director Jim Baker, who extended Cross during Baker’s first few months on the job in 2012. Baker said he never considered the program being led by anyone but Cross.
“I don’t think there was ever a time we didn’t think a deal would get done,” Baker said. “The players love him, the alumni loves him, the fans love him. He just does things the right way and that’s important to us.”
With his contract now in place, Cross heads to New Orleans this week needing three wins to make his second NCAA tournament berth.