FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) -Jim Larranaga, who took George Mason to the Final Four two years ago, signed a three-year extension to remain coach of the Patriots on Wednesday, turning down an offer to move to his alma mater, Providence College.
The deal is on top of an extension Larranaga signed shortly after GMU's Final Four appearance. He is now under contract to the school through the 2014-15 season.
The new extension came after a strong courtship from Providence, which is looking for a replacement for Tim Welsh. Welsh was fired last month after three losing seasons in the last four years.
``We offered him a very substantial package but he was too comfortable in his current situation and opted to stay at George Mason,'' Providence athletic director Bob Driscoll said Wednesday. ``As a result, I will continue to have ongoing discussions with the other finalists in this search.''
The 58-year-old Larranaga has led George Mason to the NCAA tournament four times (1999, 2001, 2006, 2008) and the NIT twice (2001-02) in his 11 seasons at the school. His 207-131 record makes him the school's all-time winningest coach. This year's team lost to Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAAs.
``I've said before that I hope to retire here at George Mason and this contract extension allows me to do just that,'' Larranaga said in a statement.
Larranaga graduated from Providence in 1971 and was the Friars' leading scorer in his sophomore and junior seasons.
Welsh was fired after 10 seasons at Providence. The Friars went 15-16 this season and lost in the first round of the Big East tournament.
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