Tommy Lloyd agrees to contract extension with Arizona through 2026-27 season
Tommy Lloyd needed only one year to prove to the University of Arizona and the Arizona Board of Regents that he was worth the investment.
The Wildcats announced on Thursday a new contract extension for Lloyd which will keep him at the helm of the men’s basketball program through the 2026-27 season. The revised five-year deal will be worth a total of $19 million, the program said. According to the Arizona Daily Star’s Bruce Pascoe, Lloyd gets a $1 million raise to his annual salary, bringing him to $3.6 million in school-paid compensation next season, plus another $400,000 guaranteed via Nike and IMG.
That $4 million/year package should make him the Pac-12’s second-highest-paid head coach, behind only Mick Cronin at UCLA.
— Arizona Basketball (@ArizonaMBB) June 9, 2022
At the Board of Regents’ meeting on Thursday, Chair Lyndel Manson praised Lloyd’s first year not just for leading the Wildcats to a 33-4 record, but for also bringing a level of integrity to the position and the program.
“It’s been a huge change and I think very much in the right direction,” Manson said, via Pascoe. “I’m very appreciative of that. And I think that environment sets the tone for a lot of the university.”
In his first year as a head coach, Lloyd brought unprecedented success. He became the first Pac-12 coach since 1981 to win Coach of the Year awards from the Associated Press, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and the US Basketball Writers Association.
After sweeping both Pac-12 titles, Arizona became just the third school to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament under a first-year coach. (The tourney began conventional seeding in 1979.) Lloyd also sits behind only North Carolina’s Bill Guthridge (1998) for most wins in a season by a first-year head coach.
“I thanked these guys after the game,” Lloyd said following the team’s Sweet 16 loss to Houston last week. “They really helped me get Arizona basketball off to a good start in my tenure.
“We really built some foundational pieces that are really going to serve us well going forward. Extremely proud of the guys. Extremely proud of the coaching staff.”
And, as it turns out, his bosses were extremely proud of Lloyd.
“Our men’s basketball program was re-established as one of the nation’s best in the first year of Tommy’s leadership,” Athletic Director Dave Heeke said in a release. “Tommy immediately showcased his elite coaching acumen by winning a pair of conference championships, elevating the team up the national rankings, developing NBA Draft picks, and establishing a strong relationship with our community and program alumni. His exceptional ability to recruit is rivaled by his dedication to developing champions on the court, in the classroom, and in our community. The University of Arizona has a standard of championship excellence for our men’s basketball program, and I look forward to more terrific seasons that meet that lofty standard with Tommy leading the program.”
Under Lloyd’s guidance, Arizona played a beautiful and at times dizzying brand of basketball. The Wildcats set a single-season program record for assists with 726, the most of any Division I team.
Everyone got better under Lloyd. Bennedict Mathurin was named a consensus All-American as well as the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player of the Pac-12 Tournament. Christian Koloko was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in addition to Pac-12’s Most Improved Player, tying the Arizona single-season record for blocked shots (102) while also increasing his scoring output from 5.3 points per game as a sophomore to 12.6 as a junior.
Azuolas Tubelis averaged 13.9 points per game and was named First Team All-Pac-12 while Dalen Terry was honorable mention all-conference and ranked 12th nationally with a 2.84 assist-to-turnover ratio. Pelle Larsson earned the Pac-12’s Sixth Man of the Year award.
It’s possible Arizona could have three first-round draft picks in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft.
And the Wildcats will look for continued success next season. Lloyd and his staff are in on a number of potential impact transfers and earned a commitment from another earlier Thursday. The Wildcats also have the No. 3 ranked 2023 recruiting class at the moment—Lloyd’s first full cycle as the leading man—with commitments from 5-star guard Kylan Boswell and 4-star guard KJ Lewis.
“I am thankful for the continued support of Arizona basketball, but our players and staff deserve credit for making my first year a special one,” Lloyd said in a release. “Everyone played an important role in helping us win two Pac-12 championships while competing at the highest level. I would also like to give a special thank you to the Arizona Board of Regents, President Dr. Robert C. Robbins, and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke for their unwavering commitment to our program, who, along with our incredible fans, make Arizona such a special place.”