If Chris Mooney's UR deal is changing after A-10 title, NCAA win, school's not saying
Coaches whose teams win championships are often rewarded with contract extensions, or otherwise benefit from implementations of roll-over provisions or improved terms.
It’s unclear whether any of that’s happening with University of Richmond basketball coach Chris Mooney, whose Spiders captured the 2022 A-10 title by winning four games in four days at Washington’s Capital One Arena March 10-13.
That league championship was UR’s first since 2011 and sent the Spiders to the 2022 NCAA tournament, their first since 2011, though they were 24-7 in 2019-20 and positioned for a bid before the pandemic suspended college sports.
As a No. 12 seed in Buffalo in this season's NCAAs, Richmond defeated Big Ten champion Iowa, which was a No. 5 seed, and then lost to Providence, a No. 4 seed, in the second round.
Richmond finished the 17th season of the Mooney era 24-13 (10-8 A-10). The last time Mooney’s contract situation was clarified was September of 2020, when he said he received a two-year extension that took his deal through the 2023-24 season.
Contract extensions can be supportive while recruiting, demonstrations of future leadership stability and school commitment to the coach.
As a private school, Richmond is not required to make employees’ contracts public. The Times-Dispatch this week reached out to John Hardt, UR’s vice president and director of athletics, asking if Mooney’s contract has changed, or will, in the wake of the Spiders’ postseason success.
On Thursday, Hardt responded via email:
“Chris Mooney and I recently began our annual postseason discussion and evaluation of Spider men’s basketball. This past season was a special one - winning four games in four days to earn the A-10 championship followed by the outstanding first-round victory in the NCAA tournament versus the Big Ten champion Iowa Hawkeye team!
“The team's success this season is a reflection of the tremendous work coach Mooney performs as the head coach of our basketball program, and we look forward to continued success in future seasons under his leadership.”
Hardt, who started at Richmond January 1, 2018, added that UR “does not publicly comment on the terms of personnel matters such as employment contracts.”
Without divulging contract details, the school announced an extension for Mooney in 2009, with no length revealed. In 2010, after a 26-9 season that included an NCAA at-large bid, a UR release said Mooney "signed an extension at the University of Richmond through the 2016-17 season."
In 2011, after the Spiders won the A-10 championship and reached the Sweet 16, the school announced Mooney agreed to “a 10-year contract.”
At 32, Mooney in May of 2005 replaced Jerry Wainwright, who left Richmond for DePaul. Mooney, a Princeton grad from Philadelphia, at that time signed a five-year deal.
Mooney interviewed at Boston College in 2010. Georgia Tech (2011) and Seton Hall (2010) also were interested in him.