KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Fresh off an SEC Tournament win on Friday, the University of Missouri announced it has extended men’s basketball coach Dennis Gates’ contract through the 2028-29 season.
Gates’ original contract ran through the 2027-28 season. The new extension will increase his annual salary to $4 million in 2023-24 with $100,000 increases each season afterward.
The first-year coach has led a team with just three returning players to its first trip to the SEC Tournament semifinals on Saturday.
The Tigers finished 11-7 in conference play this season and 24-8 overall, good enough for a fourth seed and double-bye in the tournament. Mizzou was slated to finish 11th in the SEC preseason poll.
“Thank you to the Board of Curators, President Mun Choi and Desireé Reed-Francois for this opportunity to continue to lead Missouri basketball,” Gates said in a news release.
“The city of Columbia is my home, my family loves it here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. My staff has done a tremendous job of supporting my dream building on the great tradition of Mizzou. I’m proud to be a Tiger and to coach at this wonderful institution.”
Gates had one of the best first seasons by Mizzou head coach, according to the athletics department. The Tigers’ 24 wins is the second-most for a first-year coach.
Mizzou is now predicted to be a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
“We are on an upward trajectory with Coach Gates leading our men’s basketball program,” said Desireé Reed-Francois, Mizzou athletics director.
“We have seen the program’s immediate results through wins on the court, record-setting numbers in the classroom and creating enthusiasm in our community. Coach Gates has talked openly about his goals of winning championships and hanging banners in Mizzou Arena, and I believe we are on that path under his leadership.”
Fans are feeling the energy, too. The Tigers sold out seven games this season, the second-most in Mizzou Arena history, and ranked fourth among SEC schools in average fan attendance.
Mizzou Athletics also noted the men’s basketball team recorded its highest-ever fall semester GPA; there athletes even achieved a 4.0. Forward Kobe Brown was also named the 2023 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the first Tiger to receive the honor.
“Coach Gates has transformed Mizzou basketball in less than a single season,” said Mun Choi, president of the University of Missouri.
“His bold and strategic coaching methods have molded a team that embodies the grit and determination of our university. Under his direction, his players have been successful both on the court and in the classroom. Every fan is excited about the direction of Mizzou basketball, and we will all enjoy cheering for Dennis Gates and our team in the upcoming NCAA tournament.”