As he stepped on to the podium to address the press after his team’s heartbreaking 55-49 to Boston University in the America East tournament semifinals, University of Hartford men’s basketball coach John Gallagher joked that he just ran into BU athletic director Mike Lynch on his way to the press conference and that he gave Lynch a simple piece of advice regarding his own basketball coach, Patrick Chambers.
“When’s the extension?” Gallagher said.
Whether it was Gallagher’s insistence or not, almost two months, an AE title and a NCAA Tournament berth later, Chambers has received just that.
On Thursday, Chambers agreed with BU administration to a two-year extension on his original five-year deal that will keep him signed with the Terriers until the end of the 2015-2016 season.
Chambers announced the news Thursday afternoon via his personal Twitter account, additionally thanking BU administration, his coaching staff, as well as his players.
“To be able to go until 2016 and keep this program headed in the right direction and to know that we’re going to be here a while is comforting to myself, my family and my assistants, and it should be great for our players and our incoming recruits,” Chambers said in a phone interview with The Daily Free Press. “It was a big day for our program and I’m just excited that our administration knows we’re headed in the right direction.”
Aside from the number of years that were added to the deal and the 2016 timeline, no other details about the contract were released regarding salary and possible bonuses. As a private institution, BU is not obligated or required to reveal or publish such information.
Chambers is receiving the extension in the wake of arguably the most successful BU basketball season in over a decade, as the second-year coach led the Terriers on a late 11-game win streak to end the season, a streak that culminated in an AE tournament championship and the program’s first NCAA tournament berth since 2002.
BU fell to the No. 1 seed University of Kansas 72-53 in the tournament’s second round after only trailing by a four point margin at halftime.
Chambers said that the talk between himself and BU athletic officials surrounding an extension began in the aftermath of the Terriers’ 56-54 win over Stony Brook University in the AE championship.
“The initial conversation, having it right before the NCAA Tournament, I thought that was great because win or lose against Kansas, these guys basically said we’re invested in you and your program and we support you,” Chambers said. “As a college head coach, that’s what you look for the most, or are excited about the most – the support you’re getting from the administration.
“I was definitely excited, I was surprised about the timing and everything’s coming to fruition. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re really excited about the future.”
After five seasons serving as an assistant coach under Jay Wright at Villanova University, Chambers took over the reigns of the BU program in 2009 after Lynch parted ways with longtime coach Dennis Wolff.
In his two seasons at BU, Chambers has compiled an overall record of 42-28 (matching 21-14 records each season), including a 23-9 record in AE play.
However, with this stretch of success that Chambers has had early in his BU tenure, questions have naturally emerged as to how long his stay on Commonwealth Ave. will ultimately be, especially with the recent news that fellow AE coach Mike Lonergan has left the University of Vermont to become the head coach at George Washington University.
But Chambers insists that with this new extension until 2016 in place, he will continue to focus solely and build on the work he has begun with the BU basketball program going forward.
“This is where I want to be. We’ve made this my dream job and again, you don’t get this type of support anywhere,” Chambers said. “We love the city of Boston, we love the university and we’re very grateful of this opportunity that they’ve given us and for BU basketball and what it’s done for us in this short time as a head coach.”