Arizona Announces Contract Extension With Head Coach Tommy Lloyd
TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona and Tommy Lloyd, head coach for Arizona men's basketball, have agreed to a contract extension through the 2026-27 academic year and new financial terms, both of which were approved by the Arizona Board of Regents at its meeting on Thursday. The new terms of the five-year contract include $19 million in total compensation over the course of the agreement.
"Tommy Lloyd has been a tremendous leader for Arizona Men's Basketball in his first year as head coach," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "He has energized the University's fan base with his Bear Down spirit, led our team to an incredible record with integrity, and, most importantly, been an effective mentor and advocate for our student-athletes. I look forward to his continued impact."
In his first season as a head coach, in 2021-22, Lloyd was named National Coach of the Year by the NABC, USBWA and The Associated Press, becoming the first Arizona men's basketball head coach to win any of those awards. He led Arizona to a 33-4 overall record and an 18-2 mark in Pac-12 play while finishing No. 2 in the final AP Top 25 College Basketball Poll, its best since coming in at No. 2 in 2003, and No. 6 in the NCAA Men's College Basketball Coaches Poll, its best since finishing No. 4 in 2015.
The Wildcats won the conference's regular season title by three games over UCLA and also went on to claim the Pac-12 Tournament title with another win over the Bruins in the title game. The Kelso, Washington, native set the Pac-12 record for most wins in his first season as a head coach and the Wildcats became the first Pac-12 team to ever win 18 regular season conference games. The 33 wins are the second most in NCAA history for a head coach in his first season as a head coach, falling one short of North Carolina's Bill Guthridge mark of 34 in 1998.
"Our men's basketball program was reestablished as one of the nation's best in the first year of Tommy's leadership," said Vice President and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. "Tommy immediately showcased his elite coaching acumen by winning a pair of conference championships, elevating the team up the national rankings, developing NBA Draft picks and establishing a strong relationship with our community and program alumni. His exceptional ability to recruit is rivaled by his dedication to developing champions on the court, in the classroom and in our community. The University of Arizona has a standard of championship excellence for our men's basketball program, and I look forward to more terrific seasons that meet that lofty standard with Tommy leading the program."
Under Lloyd's guidance, sophomore Bennedict Mathurin was named a consensus All-American as well as the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player of the Pac-12 Tournament, as he scored 655 points on the season, the ninth most in Arizona history. Junior center Christian Koloko was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in addition to Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year and tied the Arizona single-season record for blocked shots (102) while also increasing his scoring output from 5.3 points per game as a sophomore to 12.6 as a junior and shooting 63.5% from the floor.
Sophomore forward Azuolas Tubelis averaged 13.9 points per game and was named First Team All-Pac-12 while Dalen Terry was honorable mention all-conference and ranked 12th nationally with a 2.84 assist-to-turnover ratio. Rounding out the award winners from the season was sophomore Pelle Larsson, who shot 47.8% from the floor and averaged 7.2 points and 3.4 rebounds to earn Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year accolades.
"I am thankful for the continued support of Arizona basketball, but our players and staff deserve credit for making my first year a special one," Lloyd said. "Everyone played an important role in helping us win two Pac-12 championships while competing at the highest level. I would also like to give a special thank you to the Arizona Board of Regents, president Dr. Robert C. Robbins and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke for their unwavering commitment to our program, who, along with our incredible fans, make Arizona such a special place."
As a team, Arizona led the country and set a new Arizona single-season record with 726 assists in 2021-22. The Wildcats also set a new program record with 210 blocked shots, a total that ranked second nationally. The fast-paced offensive attack led to Arizona averaging 84.0 points per game – third nationally – and the most by an Arizona team since 2003-04. It was also a record-setting season in the classroom for the Wildcats, as the 3.14 team GPA in the Spring 2022 semester is the best on record in the history of the program, eclipsing the previous record of 3.04 set in Fall 2021. Twelve members of the team achieved a 3.0 grade-point average or better in the spring, including eight with a 3.50 or better.