MORAGA, Calif. (AP) -Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett received a two-year contract extension Thursday that could keep him at the school through 2013.
Bennett, who received a six-year extension following the 2004-05 season after the team reached its first NCAA tournament since 1997, begins his seventh year leading the Gaels. They are picked to finish second behind Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference preseason poll.
``I'm excited about where our basketball program stands and where is it headed,'' Bennett said. ``Our team and staff are looking forward to the challenge of taking the next step.''
Bennett has turned the program around since taking over in 2001 after a 2-27 season, and the program has kept improving. He has a 102-83 record for a .551 winning percentage
``What Randy has accomplished in his six seasons as our head men's basketball coach is one of the most outstanding coaching efforts I have ever witnessed,'' second-year athletic director Mark Orr said.
Saint Mary's has 93 wins over the past five seasons, the most victories in school history by the men's program.

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