Romar, Huskies extend contract
Seattle Times staff reporter
Washington men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar has reached an "agreement in principle" on a new contract that will add both years and salary to his current deal, UW athletic director Todd Turner said Wednesday.
Romar is entering the second year of an eight-year contract that pays him an estimated $1 million annually when all income is factored in.
Turner said the contract should be signed soon and the details will then be announced, likely in a few weeks.
"We're going to hook him up for a few more [years]," Turner said.
The new deal is said to include a significant pay hike, including deferred money.
Any raise above the $1 million mark will put Romar in rarefied air among college basketball coaches. By comparison, Louisville's Rick Pitino reportedly makes $1.6 million annually and North Carolina's Roy Williams and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski are each reported to make $1.4 million.
Romar agreed to his current contract as the Huskies were in the midst of advancing to the Sweet 16 in the spring of 2005.
Since then, UW has made it to another Sweet 16 and signed a recruiting class regarded as possibly the best in school history, led by center Spencer Hawes of Seattle Prep, that will make its debut this season.
Romar, who played at UW from 1978-80 under Marv Harshman, has always said he has no intentions of leaving UW, and he turned down an opportunity last spring to talk with the Sacramento Kings about their coaching position.
"I just think he's the perfect guy at Washington," Turner said. "He reflects our values, he's a doggone good coach, he's motivated about being here and he's just an extraordinary man. So we are happy to have him."
Romar has not only brought success on the court, but off it, as well, as UW's attendance has increased from 6,573 in the 2001-02 season, Bob Bender's last at UW, to 9,804 last season. UW officials also have significantly increased both ticket prices and mandatory donations in the past few years due to Washington's on-court success.
Romar already ranks fifth on the school's career victories list at 84-42 in his four seasons at Washington since taking over for the fired Bender in the spring of 2002.
Brockman on Wooden list
Washington sophomore forward Jon Brockman was named Wednesday as one of the top 50 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden All-American team.
Brockman admitted he was a little surprised to get named to the list, considering he averaged just 8.4 points last season.
"I didn't have huge numbers, but they saw something, I guess," said Brockman.
Romar said he thinks the committee that put together the list saw the fact Brockman deferred a year ago to a quartet of senior players, including Brandon Roy, and will take on a much larger role this season.
"People see that those guys are gone and now he will step up and have a much bigger year," Romar said.
• Romar said when practice started two weeks ago that Brockman was the only player virtually assured of a starting spot. He added point guard Justin Dentmon to that list Wednesday, saying the sophomore is playing "very well" during early practices.
"After that, it [the lineup] is still wide open," he said.
• Romar said again that the true freshman who has opened the most eyes so far is swingman Phil Nelson, primarily for his work ethic. Romar said Nelson has worked much harder early on than the coaches had anticipated.
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