Richard Pitino signs contract extension with Lobos

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Lobo men’s basketball head coach Richard Pitino extended his contract with the team through the 2027-28 season, UNM announced Friday.

Pitino is entering his third season as head coach and 12th overall in Division I play.

Pitino joined the Lobos for the 2021-22 season after eight seasons with the Minnesota Gophers and a season with FIU.

Before he joined the Lobos, the team had a record of 6-16 (2-15). In Pitino’s first season, they improved to 13-19 (5-12).

In their second season together, the team improved to 22-12 (8-10). That netted UNM its first 20-win season and first postseason appearance in nine years.

According to UNM, over 228,000 fans attended games at The Pit last season. They say that puts the Lobos in the top 15 nationally in overall attendance for the first time since the 2004-05 season.

“I have been impressed with his leadership on and off the court and in the community. As our program saw success on the court, it coincided with significant increases in our ticket revenue, merchandise sales, concessions and donations. The time is right to invest in this program. I believe Lobo basketball has a bright future with Coach Pitino leading the way,” said Eddie Nuñez, UNM’s athletics director.

“I am extremely grateful for Eddie Nuñez and President Stokes continuing to believe in what we are building in Lobo Basketball. We have made great progress in a short amount of time and we couldn’t have done it without their support. My family and I have cherished our time in Albuquerque. We have one of the best fan bases in all of college basketball. They deserve a program to be proud of. I am so excited for what the future holds,” Coach Pitino said.

Pitino will make $1.1 million next season. Then, that annual salary will rise to $1.25 million in the 2027-28 season.