Stability is an important factor for any successful athletics program. The best teams at most any level are the ones who have developed a winning culture by following the same head coach for year after year. Cincinnati, in an attempt to follow that blueprint, extended the contracts of head coaches Tommy Tuberville and Mick Cronin two years each on Monday.
The extension takes Cronin's contract until the end of the 2022-23 season and extends Tuberville through the end of the 2019 season. Cronin initially signed a seven-year contract in 2014 that carried through the 2020-21 season. Tuberville was originally signed to a five-year contract. He just wrapped up his third season under that contract in December.
Cronin's extension isn't particularly surprising. After all, it was just a month ago that Cronin was flirting with the UNLV head coaching vacancy before Cincinnati drew him back into the fold. It can be anticipated that discussions from that week are heavily involved in this contract extension and, frankly, Cronin has earned some faith.
He is 207-129 over 10 years with the Bearcats and has led Cincinnati to six-straight NCAA Tournaments. Taking the program to the next step and making some noise in the tournament is the next step, but extending Cronin feels like a smart move.
While the Cronin extension might rub some supporters the wrong way, the Tuberville extension is likely to receive a little more apprehension. Tuberville has led Cincinnati to a 25-14 record over his three seasons with the Bearcats and has appeared in three straight bowl games with 9-4 seasons in his first two seasons.
However, Tuberville finished last season at 7-6 and Cincinnati is now 0-3 in those bowl games, including a 42-7 blowout against San Diego State in December's 2015 Hawaii Bowl, which has many wondering if Tuberville is the one to bring the program into national contention with a potential Big 12 invite pending.
Regardless, both extensions point to Tuberville and Cronin sticking around in Clifton for awhile in a move that should bring stability to both programs. The next question is; does this mean more of the same or will each program take the next step?