Utah State athletics announces contract extensions for basketball coaches

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State University Director of Athletics Scott Barnes announced Friday that basketball coaches Stew Morrill and Raegan Pebley have both signed contract extensions to remain at USU. “We are delighted that Stew and Raegan will continue leading our programs for many years to come,” said Barnes. Morrill signed a six-year contract keeping him at Utah State through the 2016-2017 season, while Pebley agreed to a five-year extension running through the 2015-16 campaign. “Two things I’ve said since I arrived at Utah State is that it’s a privilege to coach here and that this will be my last coaching job, and 13 years later I feel stronger than ever about both statements,” said Morrill. “I want to thank Scott Barnes and President Stan Albrecht for giving me and our staff the continued security of a long-term contract.” Morrill, the winningest basketball coach in school history, has led Utah State to an incredible 324-103 (.759) record during his 13 years in Logan, including a 167-49 (.773) mark in the Big West and Western Athletic Conferences, and a 25-7 (.781) record in conference tournaments. USU has won six conference tournament championships and seven regular-season titles under Morrill. During the 2010-11 season, Utah State won its fourth-straight regular season WAC title, advanced to its third-straight NCAA Tournament and won its second WAC Tournament Championship in the last three years. USU ended the season with a 30-4 mark, which is the best record in school history and tied for the most wins ever, while finishing the year ranked 25th in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Following the 2010-11 season, Morrill was named the WAC’s Coach of the Year for the third-straight season, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 6 Coach of the Year for the second year in a row and the 2011 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com. Overall, Morrill has led Utah State to 12 straight 23-win seasons and 12 straight postseason appearances (8-NCAA, 4-NIT), both of which are school records. During the last 13 years, USU owns the fourth-best winning percentage in the nation with a 309-90 (.774) record and is one of just three schools nationally to win 23 or more games each season. Utah State’s accomplishments on the court under Morrill has translated into 14 of his players earning first-team all-conference honors a total of 20 times, including at least one first-team all-league player in each of the last 12 seasons. He has also coached the WAC’s Player of the Year three times in the last four seasons (Jaycee Carroll-2008, Gary Wilkinson-2009, Tai Wesley-2011) and has had an All-American four times in the last five years. Along with all of its success on the court, Utah State has been just as successful in the classroom under Morrill as nearly 85 percent of his players have received degrees from USU. Morrill also had four players earn academic all-WAC honors in 2011 and Aggie players have earned a total of 25 academic all-conference honors during his 13 years. In 25 years of collegiate coaching, Morrill owns a 542-241 (.692) record. He was 97-52 (.651) in five years at Montana (1987-91), 121-86 (.585) in seven years at Colorado State (1992-98), and is 324-103 (.759) in 13 years at Utah State (1999-2011). Among active coaches at the Division I level, Morrill ranks 18th all-time in victories (542) and 26th in winning percentage (.692), while his current streak of 12 straight 20-win seasons is tied for the sixth-longest in the nation. “The achievements of our men’s basketball program on the court during Stew’s 13 years are laudable and rank at the very top in all of Division I. And we are very proud of our academic achievements having graduated 85 percent of our student-athletes during his tenure. I couldn’t be happier that Stew will finish his career at Utah State and I know thousands of Aggie alumni and friends share my enthusiasm,” Barnes said. Pebley, who is the winningest women’s basketball coach in school history and the reigning WAC Coach of the Year, led Utah State to its first postseason appearance in 20 years during the 2010-11 season as it advanced to the second round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) after defeating Pac-10 foe Arizona (103-95) in the first round; its first postseason win since 1977. USU, who also advanced to the semifinals of the WAC Tournament for the second time in the last three years in 2011, finished the season with a school record for wins as it notched an 18-15 record. “President Stan Albrecht, Scott Barnes and our administration’s commitment to our program’s goals have been catalysts for our recent success and allow us to keep moving forward,” said Pebley. “Professionally, we are excited about the future of our program and believe that USU can be the home of a WAC women’s basketball championship. Personally, Keith and I love where we live. Our children were born here and we have amazing friends here. Cache Valley is our home.” Under Pebley’s direction, 12 players have been honored by the conference with postseason awards, including the 2008-09 season as the Aggies made history when two players were named all-WAC. Current Aggie assistant coach, Danyelle Snelgro, became the first Utah State player to earn first-team all-WAC honors, while Ana Pares was named to the second-team. This past season, Ashlee Brown earned both first-team all-WAC honors and the WAC Newcomer of the Year award, while Alice Coddington was named to the all-defensive team for the second-straight season. Student-athletes have also flourished off the court with Pebley at the helm. In 2010-11, six players were named to the academic all-WAC squad and a total of 47 student-athletes have earned all-academic honors under her watch. “Raegan has literally built a program from one that was not in existence when she took over as a young coach to one that is positioned among the best in the WAC. It was exciting to see such a young team achieve so much this season, including their post- season success. We should all be very excited about the future of Aggie women’s basketball under Raegan’s leadership,” stated Barnes. -USU-

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