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Provo • Acknowledging that he was both flattered and surprised by recent, more lucrative offers to coach at other college basketball programs, BYU coach Dave Rose signed a new five-year contract on Wednesday that comes with a significant but undisclosed pay raise that should keep him in Provo through the 2015-16 season.
"I am excited for this day, because I know that this is my future," Rose said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Athletic director Tom Holmoe said school administrators starting working on a new contract for Rose during the middle of the recently completed season in which the Cougars finished 32-5, their best record ever. But Holmoe said BYU officials did not approach the coach with the new deal until the season was over.
He acknowledged that there were some worrisome moments, however, as news leaked out that schools such as Oklahoma, North Carolina State, Missouri and even rival Utah had interest in the coach with the fourth-best winning percentage in the country among active coaches.
"Let's just say that I am very happy that this day has come, that we have been able to come together," Holmoe said. "The thing that I felt all along is that there are a lot of good reasons [for Rose] to go to other schools. … But I believe that there are better reasons to stay here. … It took a little bit of time, but it was important for us to take the time to do it right."
Rose, who just completed his sixth season as BYU's head coach, and 14th season in the program, said there was more interest in him than he expected when the Cougars concluded the season with an overtime loss to Florida in an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game.
"I felt that it was something that at this time I needed to look into, and when we looked into it, I think we felt as a family that we wanted to continue to build a legacy here at BYU, and that's basically what it came down to," Rose said.
While not disclosing how big of a pay raise Rose is getting as a private institution, BYU never reveals how much it pays coaches and other employees President Cecil O. Samuelson hinted that the coach will make less money than he could have made elsewhere.
"You have had a lot of interest in the numbers related to the coach's contract," Samuelson said. "I will add just a little bit more: Since we believe he is the finest coach at any level in the country, whatever he is paid, he will be underpaid, economically. We also believe that BYU is a very special place, and the coach recognizes that."
Holmoe said he was contacted by other athletic directors for permission to talk to Rose, but said it would be "inappropriate" to name specific schools.
Last week, The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Rose had turned down overtures from the University of Utah, which hired Larry Krystkowiak on Sunday.
"We won't address teams, schools, or coaches," Holmoe said, when asked if Utah had expressed interest in Rose.
On Nov. 13, 2009, Rose signed a five-year contract extension that was to take him through the 2013-14 season. This new deal is not an extension, but rather an entirely new contract, Holmoe said.