Ben Braun Signs 4-Year Contract Extension
March 27, 2001
BERKELEY - Acting Athletic Director Bob Driscoll announced today that he has reached agreement with head basketball coach Ben Braun on a four-year contract extension. The new contract lasts through the 2008-09 season.
Braun recently completed his fifth season with the Golden Bear program and led Cal to a 20-11 overall record and a berth in the 2001 NCAA Tournament. Overall, Braun has a 95-61 record with the Bears, which includes an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 1997 and a National Invitation Tournament title in 1999.
'I'm excited about the future of our program,' Braun said. 'We talk to our players about being committed, and it should be no different for coaches. This is my way of committing to a program for the long term. I think great things are happening at Cal, and I like the direction our program is going.'
Driscoll said extending the contract to solidify Cal's basketball future over the next eight years is an important symbol, one that Chancellor Robert Berdahl supported.
'This new contract extension shows our commitment to Ben Braun and what we're trying to achieve in our basketball program here at Cal,' said Driscoll. 'It provides the continuity necessary to attain national prominence over the next several years.
'Ben is everything we want in a coach at the University of California. He is a great technician, as well as an educator who places a strong emphasis on student-athletes who are here to both win and get their degrees. When you have somebody who is as well regarded in the profession as Ben Braun is, it makes sense to be proactive and secure his leadership for the long term.'
Braun cited the involvement of both Driscoll and Berdahl among his reasons to sign a new contract.
'Our players, alumni and fans had a lot to do with my decision to make a long-term commitment to Cal,' Braun said. 'Bob Driscoll and Chancellor Berdahl were also very instrumental my decision not to pursue any coaching vacancies and sign of my contract extension. Their commitment and their vision were very important to me.'
Braun was introduced as head coach at Cal on Sept. 15, 1996. A year later, after earning 1997 Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors, he was rewarded with a new eight-year contract that lasts through the 2004-05 season. The pact announced today adds four more years to that agreement.
For the 2001-02 season, Cal returns four starters and 12 of 15 lettermen. The Bears also have an incoming recruiting class that is ranked among the Top 10 in the country.