Twenty-four hours before Indiana University’s basketball opener on Friday at Assembly Hall, Hoosiers’ coach Tom Crean was intense.
A reporter had intimated that perhaps Crean and his team would work on parts of the game and pay little attention to the opponent, Bryant.
Crean took offense to the comment, noting that he coaches every game the same, like everything is on the line.
“We want to win,” Crean said. “And we want to win big.”
Combined with his already-proven coaching excellence, that attitude was behind Indiana’s climb from floundering program to the nation’s No. 1 ranking.
As expected, Indiana opened its season by hammering overmatched Bryant 97-54 on Friday. The unexpected came just before the opening tip when Fred Glass, Indiana’s director of intercollegiate athletics, announced to the crowd that Crean had received a two-year contract extension through the 2020 season.
As the crowd stood and screamed, Crean came on the floor to embrace Glass. Crean, of course, is richer as well. His non-performance-based compensation will increase from approximately $2.52 million to $3.6 million a year. The new contract also adds a bonus for academic performance and could be worth another $55,000 a year.
The contract includes increased buyout and guaranty provisions. Once the contract is signed by all parties, it will be released to the public.
“Tom Crean has done an absolutely phenomenal job bringing Indiana University back to its rightful place as one of the elite basketball programs in the country,” Glass said in a release. “His energy, integrity, ability, passion, industry, vision and commitment are unparalleled.”
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