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Utah rewards Krystkowiak with contract extension, hefty raise

Utah Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak as the University of Utah plays Duke in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Friday, March 27, 2015, in Houston.
Utah Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak as the University of Utah plays Duke in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Friday, March 27, 2015, in Houston.
Tom Smart,

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Coach K is staying put. After guiding the Utes to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16, head coach Larry Krystkowiak was rewarded with a contract extension through 2022-23 under a deal worth $2.4 million per year. Last year, Krystkowiak earned $1.5 million.

"Our men's basketball program has made tremendous strides these past four seasons under Coach Krystkowiak,” Utah athletics director Dr. Chris Hill said in a released statement announcing the extension. "The success of a program starts with its head coach and he has provided outstanding leadership for our student-athletes. Larry is aware of his value to our program. It is clear that his success has been noted throughout the country and we are pleased to be able to solidify his commitment to our program.”

Krystkowiak led the Utes to a 26-9 record this past season. They reached the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals for the second time in three years and the NCAA’s Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005. Utah defeated Stephen F. Austin and Georgetown before falling to eventual champion Duke, 63-57, in the round of 16.

The Utes have improved their record in each of Krystkowiak’s four seasons at the helm. They went 6-25 in 2011-12 after he replaced the fired Jim Boylen as head coach and led the program into the Pac-12. A 15-18 campaign followed before a 21-12 mark that culminated with a trip to the NIT. This past season, Utah posted its first winning conference record (13-5) since joining the Pac-12, finishing in a tie for second place.

Krystkowiak is 68-63 overall as head coach of the Utes. During his tenure, home attendance has increased to more than 12,000 per game (its highest total since 2000-01) and a conference-leading nine players have earned Pac-12 all-academic honors over the past two seasons.

“I want to thank Dr. Hill and President (David) Pershing for their amazing support of the men’s basketball team,” Krystkowiak said in the announcement. “We always speak about the culture within our program and a big part of that is realizing who we are. I’m a big believer in those I work for, those I work with, and the student-athletes I get to coach. This is an amazing university — with an incredible basketball program — one which I feel very proud and humbled to be a part of.”

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Twitter: @DirkFacer