UMass extends womens basketball coach Verdi

University of Massachusetts women's basketball head coach Tory Verdi has received a two-year contract extension, effective through the 2023-24 season. Verdi, entering his fourth season at UMass in 2019-20, has led a resurgence of the program in his first three years and guided the Minutewomen to results not seen in over a decade.

"Tory has invested a great deal of time and energy in advancing our women's basketball program and we are very pleased with the results after three years," Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford said. "Competitively, we have taken a step forward each year and the women in our program are excelling in the classroom. This extension shows the faith we have in Tory's plan and commitment to build a program that will compete for league titles and NCAA bids at the University of Massachusetts."

The word 'momentum' has been used around UMass recently to describe the upward trajectory of several Minutemen and Minutewomen teams and Verdi's program has lived up to the billing, showing drastic improvement both on the court and in the classroom.

"I would like to thank Ryan Bamford, Kirsten Britton and Chancellor Subbaswamy for their tireless support of our program," Verdi said. "When I arrived at the University of Massachusetts, I knew immediately that this was a special place with potential to realize conference and national success. The growth we have accomplished over the past three years speaks volumes about the commitment of our players, staff and administration and I am excited to continue that progress moving forward."

Collecting 16 wins last season, the 2018-19 Minutewomen had more victories than any UMass squad since 2006-07, while reaching the Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals for the first time since 2005. Verdi recorded the 100th win of his head coaching career on Nov. 17, 2018 with a 74-59 triumph over Central Connecticut. Senior Hailey Leidel also crossed the 1,000-point mark and entered the top-10 in all-time program scoring.

Verdi's squad made measurable strides during his first two seasons, even in spite of a limited roster size in 2016-17. Various Minutewomen have been lauded with Atlantic 10 postseason accolades each season and academically, every senior student-athlete completing their eligibility under Verdi has graduated. In Spring 2019, the program achieved a 3.32 grade-point average, the highest in a single academic term since 2005-06.

In concert with the extension, Verdi will receive an increase in base salary and bonus incentives.

Massachusetts athletics

October 10, 2019

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