LOS ANGELES (AP) -UCLA coach Ben Howland, who has guided the Bruins to consecutive Final Four appearances, has agreed to a new seven-year contract.
The deal, announced Wednesday, guarantees compensation of $1.5 million for the upcoming season and increases to $2 million for the final year. Howland earned $1.2 million last season.
The new agreement also includes the incentive package from his previous contract that could top out at $235,000.
The Bruins reached the Final Four in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1976. The Bruins won the Pac-10 title the last two seasons, finishing 30-6 in 2006-07.
``There is no place I would rather be coaching than UCLA,'' the 50-year-old Howland said in a statement. ``This has always been my dream job. I grew up a Bruin basketball fan and it still is hard for me to believe that I am the caretaker of the program that Coach (John) Wooden built.
``Back-to-back Final Fours are great, but our team is looking forward to the challenge of taking the next step.''
Howland, who turned around programs at Northern Arizona and Pittsburgh, went 11-17 in 2003-04, his first season at UCLA. The Bruins improved to 18-11 the following season, then were 32-7 in 2005-06.
``He has re-established UCLA as one of the nation's elite programs, as our back-to-back Final Fours illustrate, and has built a solid foundation that will keep us at the forefront for the foreseeable future,'' athletic director Dan Guerrero said.
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