University of Cincinnati Athletics Director Whit Babcock announced Thursday that the university and head men’s basketball coach Mick Cronin have agreed in principle to a contract extension through the 2018 season.  

This new agreement adds one year to his current contract, securing Cronin’s services through March 26, 2018.  The term of the agreement may extend one to two additional years if the men’s basketball team makes the NCAA tournament in either 2013-2014 or 2014-2015.  

“In an industry where coaching changes occur frequently, Mick brings a tremendous amount of stability to our program and loyalty to our institution and community. When Coach Cronin first arrived at UC, he had one scholarship student-athlete on the roster.  Our basketball program has steadily progressed on an upward trajectory,” Babcock said. “Coming off a third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, a fall semester with the team achieving its highest grade point average since 2007 and a strength of schedule ranked 27th nationally, I’m pleased with the accomplishments being made on the court and in the classroom. I look forward to working with Mick and our staff in achieving our championship aspirations for many years to come.  Cincinnati men’s basketball is well positioned for the future.”

During the past three seasons, Cronin has guided the Bearcats to a 74-32 overall record, tying for the fourth-best mark among current BIG EAST Conference coaches. Cronin ranks third in school history for most coaching victories (135), owning a 204-124 career record after 10 seasons.  

In the 2012-2013 season, Cincinnati achieved its third consecutive 20-win season and NCAA Championship appearance while posting a 22-12 overall mark. Also last season, UC’s attendance average at Fifth Third Arena reached its highest level since the Cronin coaching era began in 2006-2007.    

 “I am grateful to President Ono, Whit Babcock and Cincinnati fans everywhere for the confidence they continue to show in me and the opportunity to represent the University of Cincinnati,” said Cronin.  “I can honestly say that I have the best job in America, serving as an ambassador for the city for which I’ve grown up and university that means so much to me.  There is no place I’d rather be than on our campus and in the gym teaching our young men.  

Cronin’s new contract will additionally incentivize him for academic accomplishments, home scheduling and NCAA tournament achievements.

Upon formal approval by the Board of Trustees in June, details of the employment agreement will be made available.