Liberty mens basketball coach Ritchie McKay agreed Friday to a second contract extension in as many seasons with the university after leading the Flames to back-to-back ASUN Conference Tournament titles.
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said it is a multiyear contract extension that replaces the six-year deal McKay signed last season. That deal was keeping McKay in Lynchburg through the 2024-25 season.
We wanted to make sure he was properly compensated, Falwell said in a phone interview. Whatever he asked for, we gave him more.
The terms of the deal were not released. McKay made $640,433 in base salary and compensation for the fiscal year ending in 2018, according to the universitys most recent federal tax returns.
The most recent contract extension was announced less than a week after McKay led the Flames to a program-record 30 victories and a second straight ASUN Conference Tournament title with a 73-57 victory over Lipscomb at the Vines Center.
Liberty has won more than 20 games in a program-record four consecutive seasons, and it secured NCAA Tournament berths in back-to-back campaigns for the first time.
However, the Flames, like other programs, wont participate in the NCAA Tournament following the NCAAs unprecedented decision to cancel the 68-team tournament because of the novel coronavirus.
[Thursday] when we got the news, there was a lot of frustration, a lot of disappointment, McKay said earlier Friday during the universitys convocation service. When we lost last season in San Jose to Virginia Tech, our guys have really from that day almost 360 days ago invested in trying to do something that was similar to the experience we shared last year.
I know they were hurt, they were disappointed, but the beauty in this is we have young men that represent our university in such a first-class fashion. They really are a part of something bigger than themselves, and thats Liberty University and a commitment to our mission. They handled it with a grace and continued to operate out of a deep sense of gratitude I can only tell you that were really proud of them for.
McKay has a record of 154-86 in his seven seasons coaching at Liberty. He is 125-59 in the five seasons since returning to the program before the 2015-16 season.
He spent six seasons as Tony Bennetts associate head coach at Virginia, and he brought the pack-line defense with him to Lynchburg.
The Flames finished second in the nation behind UVa in scoring defense. The two programs (UVa at 52.4 and Liberty at 53.8) were the only ones to allow fewer than 59 points per game this season.
Liberty ranked eighth in the nation in scoring defense last season (61.4) and finished ninth after the 2017-18 campaign (63.6).
Liberty finished this season as the nations leader in turnovers per game at 9.4, and it was fourth in scoring margin at plus-14.8.
Were excited that Ritchie and his family are very happy at Liberty, Falwell said. We foresee a long-term relationship.
McKay boasts a career record of 319-244 in 17 seasons coaching at the Division I level, with previous stops at Portland State, Colorado State, Oregon State and New Mexico.
Damien Sordelett covers Liberty University athletics and local golf for The News & Advance. Reach him at (434) 385-5550.
Damien Sordelett covers Liberty University athletics and local golf for The News & Advance. Reach him at (434) 385-5550.
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